Gynecomastia explains the enlargement of breast tissue in men both young and old, which may cause discomfort by making the nipples tender and sensitive. The condition may develop because of hormonal imbalance although other issues, such as weight gain, can cause breast enlargement that is often confused as gynecomastia, especially in overweight men. Statistics indicate that the condition may fade with time and/or weight loss, but there are medical options if it persists.
If gynecomastia develops due to another existing health condition, treating the underlying issue often alleviates breast enlargement issues. Studies show that around 70% of pubescent or post-pubescent young men develop the problem due to hormonal imbalance. Once puberty passes, mild to moderate symptoms of gynecomastia fade as well.
Understanding the Causes of Breast Enlargement in Men
Even though many believe that testosterone is a hormone for men while estrogen is exclusively for women, both sexes generate both hormone types. However, men produce androgens like testosterone predominantly, with minimal levels of estrogen. Commonly, an imbalance between the two hormones can cause gynecomastia. This can be due to natural shifts in hormones, especially during puberty, or by using certain prescription or recreational drugs.
If the chief cause is puberty-related body changes, the condition usually fades away within six months to two years without any treatment. In most cases, it occurs when boys turn 13 or 14. Research indicates that around 20% of teenagers experience persistent effects that extend beyond 17. For those who experience persistent gynecomastia symptoms, male breast reduction can be a suitable treatment for any degree of breast enlargement.
Use of Certain Drugs
Some health experts have correlated drugs such as Spironolactone (for heart failure), Ketoconazole (for fungal infection), and Cimetidine (for ulcers) can cause gynecomastia. During a consultation about gynecomastia, Dr. Emile Brown may advise the patient to stop using or adjust the usage of such drugs if they are the chief cause of the condition, and can recommend alternatives that are less likely to lead to male breast enlargement.
Men who take antiandrogens meant for treating prostate cancer are also likely to develop the condition. While there may be no alternative for this treatment plan, there may still be suitable approaches to correct gynecomastia surgically.
Facts about Gynecomastia Treatment
Both research and anecdotal evidence show that breast reduction surgery is a permanent, effective cure for gynecomastia. The specific surgical approach depends on several factors that include general health and the patient’s condition. However, age is typically not a chief concern when considering surgery.
A board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Brown decides if a patient needs breast reduction surgery after an examination and consultation with them. If the patient is unwilling to undergo surgery, there may be non-invasive options and lifestyle changes that could provide some satisfactory relief from the symptoms of male breast enlargement. Dr. Brown may even recommend simply waiting to see whether the condition persists or fades with time.
Male Breast Reduction in Baltimore, MD
If you’re a man who’s concerned about persistent breast enlargement in one or both breasts, the Aesthetic Center at Woodholme is here to help with both surgical options and professional advice for how to achieve a more masculine chest shape. Call us today at (410)-415-9229 or contact us online to schedule your confidential appointment with a board-certified plastic surgeon about your options for male breast reduction.
Dr. Ira D. Papel is certified in Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Papel earned his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and his M.D. from Boston University of Medicine. He completed a residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and a fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Papel is considered an international expert in rhinoplasty, revision rhinoplasty, and facial aesthetic surgery.