Gynecomastia is a medical term derived from the Greek meaning “woman-like breasts.” In practical terms, this means an abnormal enlargement of one or both breasts in men. It affects an estimated 40 to 60 percent of men in the United States.
Gynecomastia is characterized by:
Gynecomastia is a physiologic phenomenon that can occur in normal pubescent and older males due to altered androgen/estrogen ratio. At puberty, it is characterized by a tender enlargement of the breast tissue beneath the areola. In the majority of cases, the breast enlargement disappears in a matter of months or as adolescence wanes, a few years later. Also, men over the age of 50 tend to develop enlarged sagging breasts as they produce fewer androgens such as testosterone. Although a variety of medical disorders and certain drugs have been linked with gynecomastia; there is no known cause in the vast majority of cases.
Other causes include:
Gynecomastia can cause impaired self-confidence and emotional disturbance. Some men may even avoid certain physical activities and intimacy simply to hide their condition.
Treatment of Gynecomastia
Choices for treatment of gynecomastia depend on the cause. If it is due to puberty, in most patients, the condition will resolve spontaneously. If the gynecomastia is drug-induced, discontinuance of the agent may be all that is needed. Gynecomastia due to over active thyroid disorder, liver disease, or a recent onset of hypogonadism may remit in response to correction of the underlying disorder. In cases of obesity, weight loss can alter the gynecomastic condition, but for many it will not eliminate it.
In general, the indications for treatment include marked pain and tenderness, or emotional discomfort. Men may seek correction of enlarged breasts for a variety of reasons, but most often this is related to being socially uncomfortable. If you are unhappy with the way your chest appears in clothing or are reluctant to remove your shirt in public because of enlargement of your breasts, you may be a good candidate for gynecomastia correction. The most uniformly effective therapy at any stage is a surgical male breast reduction.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are unhappy with the appearance of your breasts, contact Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Siamak Agha, to learn more about male breast reduction surgery. During your appointment, you can learn whether gynecomastia surgery is best for you. Call 949-393-4213 to schedule a consultation.