Gynecomastia means “feminine breasts”. Many men have a disproportionate chest size. Studies have suggested that 30-60% of all men have enlarged breast size. This common condition affects the self-esteem of men. Men seldom discuss their insecurities of their breasts with wives, family, or friends.
What is the appearance of the chest?
The male breasts may be large and projecting. It may occur in one or both breasts. The breasts may be soft or firm. Sometimes there are hard “knots” in the breasts. There may be excessive skin and breast sagging. The nipple-areolar complex may be enlarged. The nipples may protrude excessively. There may be combinations of these appearances.
Social signs and symptoms.
Teenagers with Gynecomastia often have a sudden drop in grades. In physical education classes, they may refuse to participate because they might be asked to remove their shirts or shower with other boys. They often withdraw socially. Many will never date or seem interested in dating.
In young adult males, there may be difficulty in maintaining relationships. They may never go swimming in public or vacation at the beach. There is usually avoidance in outdoor activities.
Sometimes there are intimacy issues with sex. Poor body image may limit partnerships or sexual engagement. There are often religiously based feelings of guilt for being ashamed of their bodies.
Men with Gynecomastia are very careful dressers. A layered look is preferential even in Summer. T-Shirts are often worn along with bulky outerware. Jackets and sweaters are also used to conceal the chest.
What causes Gynecomastia?
It is primarily caused by an imbalanced ratio of testosterone to estrogen. This imbalance can cause fat to be deposited in greater quantity in the breasts. If this happens in puberty, there can be an increase in the development of glandular breast tissue in the young male.
Most men with Gynecomastia will have enlarged breasts since puberty. However, there are other conditions that can cause development in older males. Tumors located in the brain, testicles, or adrenal glands may cause breast development. Gym steroids can produce this condition. Smoking marijuana or excessive alcohol consumption can also enlarge the breasts. Chronic diseases like renal failure and hyperthyroidism can lead to large breasts. Many prescribed drugs can affect a male’s hormone balance. These include medicines for ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux, high blood pressure, seizures, antidepressants, and prostate enlargement.
Liposuction techniques will reduce the size of the breasts in most cases. Sometimes it may be necessary to make small incisions to remove hard glandular tissue. Removal of excessive skin and reduction of the nipple-sreolar complex might be necessary. These procedures are performed as out-patient surgeries. Most men will miss only a few days from work. Post-operative pain and discomfort is minimal.
This treatment is rarely covered by insurance. Since there is no adverse health effects with Gynecomastia, it is considered a cosmetic surgical procedure. The costs of the treatment are similar to liposuction costs.
Here is a link to the Gynecomastia page for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons:
Before & After Patient Photos
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