When people think of an attractive male chest, they might envision chiseled and toned pectoral muscles. Most don’t consider enlarged breasts to be an appealing feature in a guy. Yet, gynecomastia, or enlarged breasts, is a fairly common thing in men. The condition can happen to guys at any age and can be due to a variety of causes.
Fortunately, it’s not always a permanent condition. If you’re a guy who’s embarrassed by enlarged breasts, there are things you can do to treat the issue. Learn more about gynecomastia and your options.
What Causes Gynecomastia?
The specific cause of gynecomastia can be difficult to pin down, as a variety of factors can contribute to it. Usually, hormones play a role. Often, if the amount of estrogen a man has is high compared to the amount of testosterone in his body, the breast tissue might grow. Several things can lead to an imbalance of those hormones.
For example, a considerable number of infant males are born with gynecomastia. The mother’s estrogen remains in the blood of the newborns for a few weeks after birth, contributing to the breast enlargement. Once the mom’s estrogen is gone, the breasts usually decrease in size.
In many boys, gynecomastia occurs during puberty as the hormones fluctuate. As hormone levels even out, the enlargement usually fades.
Adult men can also experience enlarged breasts because of lower levels of testosterone and increased levels of estrogen. In some cases, the change in hormone levels is a result of the aging process. Some men experience a drop in their testosterone as they get older.
Although hormones play a role, they aren’t the sole cause of breast enlargement in men. A wide range of medications can play a role, as can drinking too much alcohol or using certain types of illegal drugs.
Can You Prevent It?
While you can’t always prevent gynecomastia, it is possible to avoid some of the things that cause it. For example, not drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can help to reduce your risk, as can avoiding the use of street drugs.
If you think a prescribed medication you are taking is contributing to gynecomastia, you can discuss your other options with a doctor. Switching to a different dose or trying a different but similar medication might help.
Will Gynecomastia Go Away On Its Own?
In some cases, gynecomastia does go away on its own. For example, when it occurs in infants, it typically resolves after just a few weeks. In very rare cases, a baby boy with enlarged breasts might have them until he is a year or two old.
The condition also usually fades away on its own if it occurs in puberty. Once a teenage boy’s hormones have settled down, the breasts usually reduce in size.
If the condition is connected to medication, it might resolve on its own once a man stops taking the medicine or switches to a different drug.
What Are the Treatment Options?
In cases where the condition doesn’t go away on its own, a few treatments are available. The treatments depend on the stage of gynecomastia and if the cause can be determined. For example, gynecomastia is usually graded from I to IV. The size and amount of breast tissue found in grade I is very minimal. A man with grade IV usually has a considerable amount of tissue.
In the case of grade I, liposuction to remove fatty tissue from the breast area might be all that is needed. The more advanced grades, such as grade IV, often require an actual breast reduction surgery.
Male breast reduction surgery usually involves a combination of liposuction and removal of the enlarged breast tissue. Depending on the size of the breasts, the surgeon might also have to excise some skin during the surgery. Cutting away the extra skin helps to create a smooth, sag-free chest area.
Not every guy with gynecomastia needs surgery. Some men might get the results they want by taking a medication that keeps their bodies from producing estrogen.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
To learn more about gynecomastia and how to correct and cope with it, contact the Aesthetic Surgery Center to book an appointment with Dr. Ross, one of our plastic surgeons. Our surgeons have been featured on many of the major news networks, including ABC, NBC, Wink TV, and FOX, as recognized experts on a variety of plastic surgery topics. Dr. Agarwal, Dr. Maloney, and Dr. Ross believe that educating and communicating with their patients are the keys to helping them achieve successful, natural-looking results. Book your appointment at the Aesthetic Surgery Center, located at 1175 Creekside Parkway #100 in Naples, FL, by calling 239-594-9100.