Gynecomastia is the development of oversized breasts in males. It is a fairly common condition, affecting males at various ages. However, not all cases of the appearance of what appear to be breasts in a man are true cases of gynecomastia.
What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is the enlargement and development of the breast glands in a male. Both boys and girls are born with nipples and immature breast glands. In response to hormones during puberty, in girls, the immature breast glands enlarge and become surrounded by fatty tissue. In males, a hormonal imbalance can trigger enlargement of the breast glands similar to the process girls go through during puberty.
Who Gets Gynecomastia?
Around 50% of infant boys are born with mild gynecomastia due to exposure to their mother’s hormones during pregnancy. This condition usually rapidly resolves after birth due to removal of the hormones. It is also quite common for boys entering puberty to experience hormonal imbalances and develop it; the condition usually naturally resolves; however, sometimes, it does not. In these men, there are many causes of the condition, including:
- Medication used to treat prostate conditions
- Antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications
- Medications used to treat heart conditions
- Excessive alcohol use
- Liver and kidney disease
- Certain types of tumors
- Use of anabolic steroids
Symptoms of gynecomastia include enlargement of the breasts, usually accompanied by tenderness. Another condition called pseudogynecomastia can also occur in men, where the breast glands do not enlarge but deposits of fat occur in the breast area, creating the appearance of breasts.
How is the Condition Treated?
In infants and boys, gynecomastia is a self-resolving condition and requires no treatment. In older men, if the cause of the condition can be identified and altered, the condition will usually resolve. However, many men opt to undergo surgery to remove the excess tissue.
If you’re considering male breast reduction, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at The Plastic Surgery Center, located in Bradenton and Sarasota. Contact us today to book an appointment and learn more about your treatment options.