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Men, Let’s Talk about Gynecomastia!

Gynecomastia | Eric S. Schaffer, MD FACS | Austin TXAny talk of breasts usually focuses on women’s issues. However, there is a good reason for us to be open to discussion about male breasts, as well. When we think of an attractive male chest, we tend to imagine toned, if not chiseled, pectoral muscles. If a man’s chest is enlarged, it is because his pectoral muscles are swollen and “built,” right? Not always. A man’s breasts can grow in a way that resembles female breasts, and this can create a plethora of unwanted feelings.

The thing is, gynecomastia is relatively common. Men may start to notice slight swelling of breast tissue as early as their teen years. Without help, some struggle with this problem throughout adulthood. This is why it’s important to talk about gynecomastia. Until recently, there was little talk about this problem and no real solutions. Now there is talk – and there is help. One of the popular plastic surgeries performed in our San Antonio facility revolves around reducing male breasts.

What Causes Gynecomastia?

Numerous studies have been conducted to help doctors better understand gynecomastia. Through research, several factors have come to light, including the use of certain medications and an imbalance in hormones. Estrogen is a primary hormone responsible for female characteristics. When a man’s body holds too much estrogen, it is possible for breast tissue to grow more than it should. Furthermore, an abundance of estrogen, called estrogen dominance, blunts the amount of testosterone that is available in the body.

Hormonal changes may occur for a number of reasons and at any time during life. Newborn boys may have swollen breasts because their body holds some of Mom’s estrogen. As levels normalize, swelling subsides. Teenage boys whose hormones are once again regulating may experience temporary swelling of the breasts. This should also dissipate with physical maturation. Adult men also experience hormonal changes that include a decline of testosterone. Without adequate testosterone, estrogen levels can rise.

Gynecomastia Treatment

There is no guaranteed way to prevent gynecomastia and also no way to predict whether or not breast tissue will resolve on its own. If the breasts are persistently large and swollen, a man can benefit from a thorough consultation with a plastic surgeon.

We know enough about gynecomastia now to recognize gradients. This condition may be graded I to IV. Treatment can be recommended based on the grade given. Lower-grade (I to III) may be resolved with liposuction to remove excess fatty tissue. However, it is also crucial to identify glandular involvement in gynecomastia. If breast glands are partially responsible for swelling and excessive fat, it is advantageous to remove them.

Schedule a Consultation

Having gynecomastia doesn’t mean surgery is your only option. Learn more about your condition and possible treatments in our San Antonio office. Call 210-227-3223.

Posted in: Gynecomastia

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