Gynaecomastia – Causes and Treatment Options

Gynaecomastia (commonly referred to as ‘Man Boobs) is a medical condition that causes the breasts to swell in boys and men. The enlargement of the glandular tissues around the breast region is usually caused due to a hormonal imbalance in the body. When diagnosed with this condition, the breasts can be tender and will appear larger than normal even though the individual may not experience any pain. Gynaecomastia can commonly occur in teenage boys and older men.

Causes of Gynaecomastia

Gynaecomastia is typically a result of the hormonal imbalance caused between sex hormones – estrogen and testosterone in the male body. All men produce both testosterone and estrogen in the system while the levels of testosterone are usually much higher. It should be noted that the presence of estrogen results in the enlargement of breasts. Since the body produces higher levels of testosterone, it stops the development of breast tissue caused by estrogen.

Boys going through puberty can sometimes be prone to gynaecomastia since their bodies undergo considerable hormonal changes as they get older. The condition however clears up on its own as they hormone levels begin to stabilize in time. With older men, gynaecomastia is a possibility since they are known to have excess body fat.

Gynaecomastia can also be a result of side effects from certain medications, Klinefelters syndrome, infection of the testicles, anabolic steroid use, kidney failure, heart abnormality or due to use of illegal drugs like marijuana.

Treatment Options for Gynaecomastia

Gynaecomastia can cause boys and men to feel embarrassed about their bodies while in the presence of other people. Teenagers in particular are especially vulnerable since they become a subject of ridicule with their classmates. Gynaecomastia can be easily treated through surgery which are typically performed by plastic surgeons.

The process involves the removal of fat around the breast region through liposuction. The glandular tissues are removed by the doctor and the surgery usually takes 60 – 90 minutes to complete. This being a simple outpatient procedure, the patient can usually leave the hospital premises on the very same day. Surgery can help to dramatically improve appearance and enhance the confidence of the individual.