Gynecomastia 101

While all humans have breast tissue, in most cases, women have more breast tissue than men. However there are some situations where males develop excess breast tissue that can result in feminine looking breasts. This condition is usually referred to as gynecomastia. Keep reading to learn more about why this happens and what can be done.

What causes gynecomastia?
Both men and women have testosterone and estrogen—two important hormones that regulate things within your body. Normally males have significantly more testosterone than women.

When the balance of testosterone and estrogen changes in your body, estrogen may trigger the development of excess breast tissue.

Because of this, gynecomastia is usually common in infants, young boys entering puberty, and men between the ages of 50 and 80.

Other risk factors include taking certain medications, gaining weight, and consuming alcohol. People with liver failure, hyperthyroidism, or kidney failure may also be at risk.

GynecomastiaIn many cases, the excess tissue will go away as the hormone levels balance out and return to normal. If however, this does not occur, men may want to consider cosmetic treatments that can restore a more masculine appearance.

What are your treatment options?
Treatment options for gynecomastia vary depending on the condition of the patient. If the larger breasts are primarily due to excess fat, liposuction may be used to remove this fat and create a more normal appearance.

If, however, actual breast tissue has developed, liposuction will not be adequate. In this case, a small incision will be made in order to remove the excess tissue. Skin tightening may also help the patient regain a more masculine appearance.

If you undergo treatment for gynecomastia, recovery is usually quite quick. In most cases, men can return to non-strenuous everyday activities a few days after the procedure. Patients should avoid upper body exercises for several weeks while they are wearing a special vest that aids the recovery process, but lower body exercises can be resumed quite soon after the surgery, so you can still keep up your healthy routines.

If you’d like to learn more about cosmetic procedures that can help men look their best, schedule a consultation with Dr. Richard D’Amico.

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