Male breast enlargement, also known as gynecomastia, is prevalent in the United States. Though the criteria to define, measure, and diagnose excess gynecomastia may vary, conservatively more than half of the adult male population demonstrates enlarged breasts (Johnson & Murad 2009). The major cause of gynecomastia is the presence of a hormonal imbalance. Though the condition is medically benign in most cases, men with enlarged breasts often feel self-conscious about their chests. This can even cause them to avoid situations where they don’t wear a shirt, thus changing their activities, and to feel less masculine. This blog explains the causes and treatments of this common and worrisome condition.
How does gynecomastia occur?
When the male body has relatively more estrogens and less androgens (testosterone and derivatives) than normal, breast tissue may be stimulated to grow. The resulting “man boobs” are larger than normal and have a firm texture underneath the nipple. During weight gain, additional fat may also be stored in this area, creating even larger breasts.
There are several possible causes for the hormonal imbalances responsible for gynecomastia. It is actually a natural characteristic that occurs during puberty in many males, and it generally resolves by their early 20s. In some cases, an imbalance that persists after this age may be caused by taking certain medications, such as some anti-depressants, treatments for prostate cancer, or heart medications. Thyroid or liver conditions can also change the levels of sex hormones in the body and thus create enlarged breast tissue. For other patients, alcohol or drug use may be to blame. Additionally, gynecomastia often occurs in obese individuals, as excess fatty tissue can also contribute to hormonal imbalance. Whatever the cause for your enlarged breasts, you may feel self-conscious about your body if you have them. Fortunately, there are several different treatment options for men with gynecomastia.
What can I do about my enlarged breasts?
Male breast enlargement generally does not require treatment, though many men opt for options to reduce their breast size for aesthetic reasons. If your gynecomastia is caused by taking certain medications, you may be able to work with your treating physician to adjust your medicines and resolve the condition. Many patients can reduce the size of their breasts through diet and exercise; maintaining a healthy weight is an effective treatment to diminish breast tissue and restore balance to your hormone levels.
However, if you are unable to attain a sculpted and lean chest through these measures, you may want to consider a breast reduction surgery. This outpatient surgical procedure will be fully customized to address your concerns and achieve your aesthetic goals. In general, male breast reduction surgery will include surgical removal of glandular breast tissue and perhaps also liposuction to get rid of excess fat. For some men, the areola and nipple will need repositioning and loose, sagging skin can be removed and tightened. With many years of experience in restoring men’s confidence through breast reduction, you can rest assured that Dr. Landis will create a surgical plan that will diminish the size of your chest and restore a masculine form to your breasts.
If you are tired of living with “man boobs,” Dr. Landis can help by performing a fully-customized male breast reduction surgery. Call 952.562.5940 today to find out more about how this procedure can help you to achieve a more masculine-looking chest.
Johnson, R. and Murad, M. (2009). Gynecomastia: Pathophysiology, Evaluation, and Management. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 84(11): 1010-1015.