Male breast enlargement, also known as gynecomastia,  is estimated to be present in a third of the male population. This condition can be hereditary, a symptom an existing condition, or a side effect of drug therapy.

In the United States, gynecomastia correction surgery is the third most common plastic surgery performed on males, only surpassed by liposuction of the body and rhinoplasty. A huge number of gynecomastia cases are either a side effect of medications taken for an existing health problem or purely physiological in nature. Surgery may be the best option if gynecomastia doesn’t respond to non-surgical treatments or if it’s adolescent gynecomastia that doesn’t fade once a boy reaches adulthood. An in-depth assessment and consultation with Dr. Mosser can help explore your gynecomastia treatment options.

Physiological Gynecomastia

Physiological gynecomastia can happen even in newborns. Often, the condition has to do with hormones arising from the placenta. The good news is that this type of male breast enlargement will resolve itself in a few weeks. On the other hand, gynecomastia during adolescence is typically a result of shifts in the ratio between testosterone and estrogen. Like gynecomastia in newborns, it will eventually disappear within a year or two after puberty.

In aging males, gynecomastia may be a symptom of testicular failure. It usually responds to testosterone replacement treatments. Recently, rising cases of obesity are turning out to be the leading cause of gynecomastia amongst men in the United States. This is mainly a result of androgens being converted to estrogen by peripheral fat. This type of breast enlargement can be improved and eliminated with a comprehensive weight loss program combining regular exercise and a balanced diet. Plastic surgery and non-surgical treatments may be employed as well.

Pathological Gynecomastia

Pathological gynecomastia is mainly caused by lack of supply or inefficiency of testosterone. This problem can be attributed to numerous causes including testicular trauma or infection, congenital defects, increased production of estrogen, reduced testosterone due to hemodialysis or kidney failure, presence of tumors within the breast itself or other organs, and as a side effect of liver, thyroid, or adrenal disease.

This type of gynecomastia often happens during puberty and can either be bilateral or unilateral. Often, breast enlargement is centralized but can also happen in the surrounding areas. In cases that occur before puberty, a comprehensive diagnostic workup is necessary to check for underlying conditions that are potentially life-threatening.

Drug-Induced Gynecomastia

Prolonged use of steroids, heroin, marijuana and a wide variety of medications can result to drug-induced gynecomastia. It’s also not uncommon for male breast enlargement to arise from genetic inborn errors of metabolism.

Gynecomastia Treatment Options

Gynecomastia surgery or surgical male breast reduction can be performed using several approaches: employing liposuction alone, liposuction with tiny incisions near the nipples, or with larger incisions to facilitate removal of excess skin and repositioning of nipples to a more appealing position.* Deciding on the best technique to help accomplish desired results depends on the underlying cause of your male breast enlargement. Full, candid disclosure of your health history and a thorough physical assessment by Dr. Mosser is necessary. Additionally, your age, lifestyle, weight, muscle tone, skin type, tone, and elasticity will influence the type of correctional surgery required to help accomplish the most natural-looking outcomes.

* Individual results may vary, and not guaranteed.

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