Gynecomastia is a condition that causes a male to grow enlarged breasts. Gynecomastia can present as a puffiness behind the nipples to pendulous, full breasts similar to those found on adult women and everything in between. If you or a loved one is suffering from enlarged breasts and are concerned, learning about the condition is often the first step to making a sound medical decision about your treatment options.
Understanding Common Causes
There are three primary ages where a male may experience enlarged breast growth. While the condition can occur at any time, the following age groups are most at risk:
- Infants. Baby boys are exposed to the mother’s estrogen and other pregnancy hormones for months. This can lead to enlarged breasts in infancy. The vast majority of these cases go away on their own as the baby’s body purges the excess hormones.
- Puberty. Both males and females experience an uptick in estrogen and testosterone during puberty. Sometimes, the amounts of these hormones don’t regulate properly. This can lead to a young man developing excess breast tissue. Many cases of pubertal gynecomastia resolve on their own, so there is usually no reason for dismay.
- The eldery years from 50-80 and beyond. According to the Mayo Clinic, one in four men in this older age group has some gynecomastia. Hormonal changes, sagging tissue and certain medications may play a role.
Common Treatments Offered
While many cases resolve themselves and require no treatment, it’s quite common for men with this condition to want treatment. This is especially true for men who are embarrassed by their breast size or believe they are being held back in their professional or personal lives by their condition. The most common treatments are medications and, sometimes, surgical treatment.
Medication can be a cause of gynecomastia, so changing the medication regimen can help the condition to resolve on its own. If a naturally occurring hormonal imbalance is to blame, hormone therapy can begin to right the balance and help the condition right itself.
Surgical intervention is performed on men in much the same way it’s done on women, usually using an upside-down T-shaped incision to reposition the nipple and remove excess tissue and skin. Of course, a surgeon will aim to make the breasts as flat as possible for a man. The scars can be hidden along the lower curve of the pectoral muscles of the chest, but they may always be visible. It’s up to the patient to decide if the scars will be acceptable.
If you or a loved one is experiencing male breast growth and live in the Bradenton or Sarasota area and would like to seek out options, feel free to call the Plastic Surgery Center today. We’d be happy to assess your case and provide you with all the information you need to form an educated treatment plan.