Many men struggle with a condition known as Gynecomastia, in which they develop excessive breast tissue under the areola and adjacent chest. The condition can affect one (unilateral gynecomastia) or both breasts (bilateral gynecomastia), and can affect them asymmetrically. Throughout his career, Dr. Barr has effectively treated many male patients suffering from gynecomastia with male breast reduction procedures, also known as gynecomastia surgery.
Gynecomastia and Pseudogynecomastia
What is gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia? Gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia are conditions that affect males in the breast area. Gynecomastia is characterized by excessive glandular and stromal tissue, with a number of potential causes. Pseudogynecomastia, on the other hand, is due to an excessive amount of fatty tissue. Both conditions can create extreme psychological distress, with men suffering with these conditions reporting self-esteem issues related to showing their body in public.
Hormonal Imbalances as Key Contributors
Gynecomastia can be caused by an imbalance in the hormones, testosterone and estrogen. While men produce some estrogen, it is usually low enough that it will not cause an increase in the breast tissue under and around the areola. If men have high levels of testosterone, some of that testosterone can be converted into estrogen in the adipose tissue in a process called aromatization. This increase in total body estrogen causes the formation of gynecomastia. The imbalance in these hormones can cause excessive breast tissue to develop, commonly referred to as gynecomastia / man boobs.
Medical Conditions and Gynecomastia
While for infants and teenagers, the cause of gynecomastia is typically fluctuating hormones that resolve on their own, in adult males gynecomastia causes can include medical conditions:
- hormonal imbalance
- use of anabolic steroids
- cirrhosis of the liver
- kidney problems
- overactive thyroid
Medications and Gynecomastia: Unveiling Pharmaceutical Influences
There are certain medications / drugs that may cause gynecomastia. Anabolic steroid use has been a known cause. Certain anti-ulcer drugs and anti-androgens have been shown to impact gynecomastia. Studies also indicate that use of marijuana, heroin, or amphetamines may also contribute to gynecomastia symptoms.
Genetics and Familial Predisposition
Very few men experience gynecomastia due to hereditary circumstances. In rare cases, gynecomastia can be caused by certain genetic disorders and conditions, such as Klinefelter syndrome or Gilbert’s syndrome.
Addressing Obesity and Gynecomastia
Obesity in men may cause gynecomastia. In obese males, there is increased aromatase activity, which converts testosterone to estradiol resulting in decreased testosterone and elevated estrogen levels. Due to the heightened levels of estrogen, breast tissue may grow. For some men losing weight and increasing exercise can help but this often does not resolve the condition.
Age and Gynecomastia Incidence
How long does gynecomastia last?
In newborns, gynecomastia is the result of estrogen received from their mother. These, “breast buds” tend to go away gradually by the time a baby is 6 months old. Teenage boys may experience gynecomastia as a result of the hormone changes during puberty. The condition may resolve within 6 months to 2 years (once hormones have leveled off). In adult males, gynecomastia may be the result of hormone fluctuations or another condition. For these men, the solution to how to reduce ‘man boobs’ may be gynecomastia surgery.
Gynecomastia at Barr Plastic Surgery
Dr. Barr understands how sensitive this particular subject can be for his patients, and takes great pride in being able to offer his abilities to correct enlarged breast tissue in his patients. For men in search of how to get rid of gynecomastia, a surgical solution may be the best answer.
Gynecomastia treatment involves reducing the size of the breasts by removing excess fat and glandular breast tissue, and takes one to two hours. The procedure is done through a small incision at the lower border of the areola and this heals so well that men can usually be shirtless in the gym within a few weeks. The procedure often combines a surgical excision of the excessive glandular tissue from behind and around the areola, and sides and bottom of the breast. The adjacent excess fat is removed using VASER liposuction. This is an ultrasonic technology that allows extremely precise permanent fat removal with minimal swelling or bruising while also facilitating skin tightening. The skin retracts after the excessive breast tissue and fat has been removed. After the gynecomastia is removed, you will be left with a better muscle definition, feel comfortable in tight shirts and welcome opportunities to remove your shirt in the gym and at the beach. The particular techniques used in your gynecomastia procedure will depend on Dr. Barr’s assessment of your breast tissue, and will be fully detailed for you in consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes gyno?
While gynaecomastia is most often caused by a hormonal imbalance, certain medications and conditions can also cause enlarged breast tissue.
Can gyno go away on its own?
In some instances, gynecomastia will correct itself. When gynecomastia occurs in babies and adolescents, the condition usually resolves on its own after the hormones adjust. ‘Does gyno go away’ is a more difficult question to answer later in life. In older men, the breasts might remain enlarged even after a hormonal imbalance is corrected. These men often seek gynecomastia surgery in order to resolve the condition.
At what age does gyno go away?
Gynecomastia occurring in newborns typically resolves within 6 months. For teenage boys experiencing gynecomastia during puberty, the condition may resolve within 6 months to 2 years, once hormones are regulated. For adult men experiencing gynecomastia, the condition may not resolve on its own. In this case, gynecomastia surgery may be the ideal choice.
How to know if you have gyno?
Gynecomastia is different from enlarged breasts caused by extra fat tissue from being overweight. The condition can affect one or both breasts, and can affect them asymmetrically. Gynecomastia may feel firmer to the touch than fat, and it, does not disappear when you make changes in your diet and regular exercise.
Can gynecomastia cause chest pain?
As a result of the excessive breast tissue, some men report the area to be tender or slightly painful to touch.