Gynecomastia – all you need to know
Do you feel self-conscious about going to the gym or swimming bare-chested?
Do you feel shy to join social gatherings? Do you avoid wearing T-shirts?
Have you tried various solutions, such as prescription drugs and exercise, in search of a viable solution for enlarged male boobs?
Enlarged male boobs are known as gynecomastia. It can affect one or both breasts, and it can affect them to different extents.
Gynecomastia most commonly occur primarily in boys going through puberty, and older men due to the usual hormonal changes in males. However, in most other men, reason for increase in the size of their breats is not known. Few others develop gynaecomastia secondarily due to tumors of testes, alcoholism, liver issues, medicinal side effect, etc.
Primary Gynecomastia is a self limiting disorder in most, however, in some it may not regress in size and maybe associated with pain. Secondary gynaecomastia may persist even after causative factor is removed. .
What are the symptoms of gynecomastia?
The below are some of the symptoms of gynecomastia:
- Enlarged breast tissue
- Tenderness in the breasts
So, when do you need to visit a doctor?
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should see a doctor:
- Swelling in your breast.
- Tenderness or pain in your boobs.
Why does gynecomastia occur?
A reduction in the level of the hormone testosterone (male hormone) in comparison to estrogen (female hormone) causes gynecomastia.
The hormonal imbalance can occur due to a variety of factors:
The hormones testosterone and estrogen regulate both men’s and women’s sex factors. Testosterone is liable for developing muscle mass, body hair, and estrogen regulates feminine characteristics such as breast development.
Most people think that estrogen can only be produced in women’s bodies. But it is not true; even men have it in limited amounts in their bodies. Gynecomastia occurs due to an increased level of male estrogen in comparison with testosterone levels.
Due to the high estrogen level present in the mother’s body, many male children are born with enlarged breasts. The enlarged breast tissue usually goes away within two to three weeks after birth.
Gynecomastia due to hormonal changes is a common condition during puberty. In most cases, the enlarged breast tissues go away on their own without surgery.
Between the ages of 50 and 69, the frequency of gynecomastia reaches a new high. In this age group, at least one out of every four men suffer from it.
Side effects of medications:
Certain medications can cause enlarged male boobs. These includes
- Medications to treat prostate enlargement and prostate cancer.
- Certain kinds of steroids those doctors may prescribe in emergency requirements.
- Medicines for HIV AIDS.
- Anti-anxiety drugs and antibiotics.
- Certain life-saving drugs to treat heart complications
- Medications for ulcer treatments.
Certain health complications:
Certain health complications also lead to enlarged male boobs. Like-
- Kidney failure
- Cirrhosis of liver
How can you get rid of male breast enlargements?
These are of no use to reduce the size of the enlarged breasts.
Available treatment options:
Most forms of gynecomastia go away on their own after a while. If you are suffering from hypogonadism, starvation, or cirrhosis, proper treatment can help you get rid of enlarged male boobs.
If you are taking drugs that may cause gynecomastia, your doctor can advise you to stop taking them or switch to something else.
If gynecomastia does not recover on its own after 1-2 years or induces severe discomfort, tenderness, or humiliation, you will need treatment.
Surgery is a one-time permanent solution.
Surgery is done under General Anaesthesia. The surgeon removes the excess glandular tissue and fatty tissue from the breast using liposuction mainly. Any residual tissue after liposuction is also removed from the same small cut of less than 1cm.
This is a daycare surgery. After surgery patients will have to wear a tight vest/compression garment for a period of three months to allow the loose skin to regain its elasticity.