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Gynecomastia – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

7 mins read

What is gynecomastia?

It’s a condition wherein the male breast/s enlarge or overdevelop. The enlarged breast or the breast bud can be a result of swollen glandular tissue of the breast. And this can happen in response to too little testosterone or too much oestrogen. 

This condition is noncancerous/benign and involves enlargement of the glandular tissue in the breast/s. It can lead to embarrassment among males, further causing anxiety, depression and poor body image. Its treatment includes medication and surgery.

Gynecomastia – Surgical procedures

Symptoms

Enlarged breast/s is the most common sign of this condition. Other gynecomastia symptoms include rubbery or firm breasts, and breast bud on just one or both sides. Breast buds are a common phenomenon in adolescent boys when they are in puberty. Apart from this the patient may experience breast tissue swelling and tenderness. It may be a result of obesity as well.

Causative factors of gynecomastia

Based upon age, classification of causes for gynecomastia can be as follows:

  • New-borns: This condition can arise in new-borns by oestrogen from the mother. The breast buds are not just common in babies, but they also go away within 6 months of age. 
  • Preteen boys: In preteen boys, the breast buds may appear during puberty. They go away within a year, but may last two years as well. Another factor for gynecomastia in preteens is oestrogen-producing tumour.
  • Adult males: Usually the causes in adults are overactive thyroid, cirrhosis of the liver, lung or liver cancer, or hormonal issues. The hormonal problems include cancer of the adrenal glands, pituitary gland or testicles. It can be alcohol, methamphetamine, marijuana and heroin causing gynecomastia. In older males, hormonal changes are the major cause. 

Obesity is yet another of the most common causes of gynecomastia. Heredity and obesity both can also influence the condition.

There can be some other factors as well. It can be an intake of certain medicines such as steroids, antiandrogen drugs, anti anxiety medicines, medicines to treat ulcers and epilepsy, and chemotherapy drugs.

Difference between a normal male breast tissue and the other with gynecomastia

How to diagnose gynecomastia?

The diagnosis can be from one’s medical history and physical exam. Tests are usually not necessary. When the breast lump is large enough, tender, hard/fixed or one-sided, a biopsy may be the solution. 

Any man with a one-sided breast lump should visit a doctor. He may let the doctor know if any close relative has had breast cancer in the past. Lastly, when there’s a concern about cancer, a biopsy or surgery are the solutions. 

The healthcare provider may diagnose using blood tests, urinalysis and mammogram. It is also necessary to make sure the breast lump is due to overgrowth of the glandular tissue and not because of excess fat tissue.

Treatment – How to get rid of gynecomastia?

Questions such as how to reduce gynecomastia, or how to get rid of gynecomastia during puberty, are quite common. Here’s how-

Gynecomastia in teens and babies generally goes away without treatment. When caused because of medicines and diseases, stopping the same will often cure the condition. When the cause is hormonal changes, hormonal treatment is enough. 

People want to know can gynecomastia go away with exercise. Diet and exercise can surely help reduce total body fat, thereby reducing the chest size too. Surgery comes out as the last option after all these treatment options fail to work.

Gynecomastia surgery

The surgery includes removal of the excess glandular tissue and reshaping of the chest in position. It begins with anaesthesia – general, spinal or local anaesthesia. Anaesthesia type will depend upon factors such as extent of growth, age and size of incision. Here are the two different surgical procedures for this kind of plastic surgery:

  • Suction lipectomy: This form of liposuction allows for the tapering of the edges of tissue. It does not cause side effects. When the condition is critical, an open surgical procedure may be the right option. In this case, there will be an incision into the breast tissue to remove the excess tissue. 
Gynecomastia surgery explained
  • Endoscopic surgery: Here, the doctor uses a small and flexible tube with light and camera. He examines the inside of the breast and removes the tissue without making a large incision.  

Post liposuction

After liposuction, the skin tightens itself when there’s good elasticity. This is generally with younger men due to better retraction of skin. However, some are left with loose skin even after the surgery. Therefore, going forward with an auxiliary procedure, once the blood flow is re-established, the doctor removes a donut-shaped skin piece from around the areola. He finally closes it with purse string sutures.

Post the surgery, the patient will need to visit the doctor multiple times for bandage replacement and further assessment. The doctor will direct him about the post-surgical care methods so as to cure the wound and recover completely. 

We at Medfin , the Surgery expert team offers you access to latest and advanced treatment for elective surgeries at most affordable costs. Our Personal Medfin assistants answer all your concerns related to surgery and ensure that your needs are met in your entire medical journey. 

To consult an expert Medfin surgeon near you, please call us on 7026200200. You can also WhatsApp us on 9986828963 (click here to initiate a whatsapp chat).

Author: Surbhi JainA budding content writer with a good amount of experience. She has experience in writing on varying niches, healthcare being one of her favorites. Her other interests include dance, music and sports.

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