Gynecomastia Symptoms | How Surgery can be helpful?

Gynecomastia is a common condition that causes enlarged male breast tissue. Males of all ages can develop it, although it is most common during puberty, the infant stage, and later adulthood as a result of normal changes in hormone levels. Still, other causes also exist.

It is often brought on by an imbalance in how estrogens, which are female hormones, interact with androgens, which are male hormones, in the breast tissue. Various medicines, medical problems, and age-related variables can cause or contribute to this condition. The issue is often benign and is efficiently treatable if it does not go away on its own.

One or both breasts may be affected by gynecomastia, occasionally unevenly. 

Gynecomastia is often not a significant issue, although managing the condition can be challenging. Gynecomastia can cause men and boys to experience discomfort in their breasts and feelings of embarrassment.

When May Gynecomastia Appear?

Gynecomastia can happen during different stages of life, such as:

  • Infancy

Gynecomastia affects more than half of newborn boys because of the impact of their mother’s estrogen, and the enlarged breast tissue often goes away three weeks after birth. 

  • Preteens

In most pre-adolescent males, breast enlargement stops developing. It goes back to being normal with the progression of puberty; therefore, only a small number of patients may experience continuous growth in their breast tissue leading to gynecomastia. Within two years of the condition’s beginning, gynecomastia often spontaneously regresses. Interestingly, more than half of people with chronic pubertal gynecomastia have a history of the disorder in their families.

  • Late Adulthood

Men over 50 are more likely to have enlarged breasts. Men’s bodies generate less testosterone as they become older. Additionally, they could have greater body fat, which promotes the development of breast tissue and estrogen production.

Causes Of Gynecomastia

The major cause of gynecomastia is thought to be an altered imbalance between estrogen and androgen effects due to an absolute increase in estrogen production, a relative decrease in androgen production, or a combination of both.

Estrogen acts as a growth hormone of the breast, and therefore excess of it in men leads to breast enlargement. Some hormones rise more rapidly than others during early puberty, which leads to an elevated estrogen/androgen ratio.

Also, lowered testosterone may cause the breast glands to grow, and weight increase results in the accumulation of fatty tissue beneath the breast, giving the male more glandular tissue and fat in the breast. This extra fat can further upset the balance between testosterone and estrogen since fat cells produce estrogen.

In addition to normal hormonal changes, the use of several medicines, such as anabolic steroids, androgens, anti-androgens, anti-anxiety medications, antibiotics, chemotherapy, heart medications, and drugs used to treat AIDS, can result in gynecomastia. 

The use of drugs including alcohol, marijuana, methadone, heroin, and amphetamines; illnesses like hyperthyroidism, renal failure, liver disease, and malnutrition; and the use of herbal items like shampoos, lotions, or soaps with tea tree or lavender oil are some other reasons.

Symptoms Of Gynecomastia

The most common gynecomastia symptoms include the following:

  • The enlargement of one or both breasts is the primary sign of gynecomastia. The swollen glandular tissue often affects both breasts, but occasionally it only affects one. In relation to the nipple, the breast development may be equal or uneven. It could feel stiff or rubbery. 
  • When touched, the breast or nipple may hurt or be sore.
  • An increase in the size of the areola, as shown by the extending diameter.
  • One or both breasts in boys may have a breast bud about the size of a small coin. During puberty, they are frequently present in boys and can last up to two years.
  • Breast abscesses are another issue that may result in swollen male breasts. However, it is uncommon in males. People who are affected could get a fever or chills. The skin around the swelling may be red and feel extremely uncomfortable and hot to the touch.

How Surgery Can Be Helpful

Gynecomastia treatment decisions are often based on the patient’s values, personal preferences, and how the condition affects their quality of life. In severe cases of the condition, long-term gynecomastia, or when pharmacological treatments have failed to help restore a normal breast appearance, reduction mammoplasty (breast reduction surgery) is suggested. Two gynecomastia surgery options are:

  • Liposuction with or without gland excision – Some men undergo liposuction. This surgery removes breast fat but not the breast gland tissue itself. The doctor uses a suction device to remove any excess fat underneath. In addition for removal of glandular tissue an additional incision inside areola is given to take out the residual gland.
  • Mastectomy –  In severe cases Complete removal the breast tissue and skin is done .This however is restricted to very few cases in which liposuction with gland excision will not give adequate results.

Benefits of gynaecomastia correction 

Due to the unattractive curve of their chests, men with gynecomastia may occasionally feel insufficiently masculine. Surgery offers them a wider variety of benefits than other aesthetic procedures or treatments, which helps to improve general health and well-being. Additionally, research on Gynecomastia patients has shown increased self-confidence and a good degree of overall satisfaction. Gynecomastia surgery may help with the following:

  • Enhances Self Confidence and Self-Esteem
  • Develop a More Masculine Figure
  • Participate in More Physical Activities
  • Improving the  posture
  • Slimming down to a healthier weight
  • Alleviating back pain
  • Enjoying More Clothing Options

Conclusion

Gynecomastia is often not accompanied by long-term issues, but those who experience it have an approximately five times increased risk of male breast cancer than the general population. This is presumably because the hormonal changes that induce gynecomastia also raise the risk of male breast cancer. 

To determine whether you are the right candidate for gynecomastia surgery, book an appointment with an expert and discuss your medical history and current goals to determine the most effective solutions.

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