Gynecomastia, a condition that causes enlarged breast tissue in men, is more common than you think. While some breast enlargement is normal for newborns and boys going through puberty due to changes in estrogen and testosterone, the condition is also common for men after puberty as well. Somewhere between 40%-60% of men in the US deal with this condition.
Although Gynecomastia may not present a serious medical risk, that doesn’t mean it’s not difficult for the men affected by it. Speaking from over 20 years of experience, I have seen the effect this condition can have on a man’s self-esteem and body image. Normal weight gain, heredity and certain medications and recreational drugs can lead to enlarged breasts in men. Below I have outlined some of the most common causes of gynecomastia as well as some treatment and surgery options for you to consider:
Natural Hormone Changes
Estrogen is commonly thought of as a hormone exclusive to women, but men also produce it in much smaller quantities. Higher-than-normal estrogen levels can throw off your hormonal balance and lead to enlarged breasts. Sometimes these changes in hormone levels can occur naturally as a result of aging.
Reaction to Medication
Hormone changes due to a reaction to certain medications and medical treatments can sometimes lead to gynecomastia. This can include antibiotics, cancer treatments like chemotherapy, antidepressants, and certain medications used to prevent heart disease, high blood pressure or prostate issues.
Reaction to Recreational Drugs & Alcohol
Abuse of recreational drugs has also been linked to enlarged breasts in men. This can mean alcohol, marijuana, heroin and amphetamines, as well as anabolic steroids.
Certain health conditions can spark hormonal changes that lead to gynecomastia. This can include liver or kidney failure, tumors and hyperthyroidism. Poor nutrition and weight gain can also be responsible for a hormonal imbalance. Additionally, starvation and malnutrition can drain the body of testosterone, leading to gynecomastia.
Treatment & Surgery Options
Despite regular exercise and dieting, many men are unable to eliminate their enlarged breasts. For men who suffer from gynecomastia, I commonly recommend Male Breast Reduction surgery. During the procedure, I will surgically remove excess fat, glandular tissue and skin from the breast area to create a smooth, masculine chest. Male breast reduction is a relatively quick surgical procedure that requires little downtime for recovery.
I believe that no one should have to feel embarrassed by their body. If you are a male unhappy with the look of your chest, you may be suffering from gynecomastia. Contact me, Dr. David Whiteman, at Southern Plastic Surgery today at (770) 622-9100 to set up a complimentary consultation to learn more about your options for male breast reduction.