Gynecomastia is the abnormal enlargement of male breasts that does not pose a health threat, but it can be bothersome due to its physical appearance. Over developed breast can create a feminine look lowering self-esteem. In such cases gynecomastia surgery can help. Gynecomastia is most effectively treated with surgery. For teenagers doctors may prefer hormone regulating medications and observation.
What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is the non-cancerous benign enlargement of breasts in men usually caused by hormonal imbalances. It is most frequently seen in teenagers but can also be observed in seniors and infants.
Gynecomastia, Why Does It Happen?
Gynecomastia is usually caused by hormonal imbalances. Some medications can also temper with hormonal balance triggering gynecomastia. That is why it is crucial to find the underlying cause of gynecomastia and to choose the right treatment. Gynecomastia is commonly caused by:
- Normal hormonal changes
- Some medications used for long periods (chemotherapy, medications with steroids and androgens)
- Drug addictions and alcoholism
- Organ failure, tumours, or hyperthyroidism.
Who May Have Gynecomastia?
- Gynecomastia is frequently seen on infants due to the oestrogen hormone having passed from mothers causing enlarged breasts.
- Teenagers may have gynecomastia due to changing hormone levels breast tissue can abnormally enlarge. Teenage Gynecomastia usually goes away in 6 months to 2 years.
- Gynecomastia that started in teenage years may not go away and continue being adulthood or can reappear in ages 50-70.
How is Gynecomastia Diagnosed?
Gynecomastia can be diagnosed with physical examination or by observation. Doctor during physical examination can check the structure and size of the enlarged breast tissue and may request ultrasound imaging if necessary.
What Are the Types of Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia can be categorised into groups depending on the fat and tissue ratio:
- Glandular Gynecomastia: Higher hard breast tissue ratio. Usually surgically removed.
- Mixed Type Gynecomastia: Glandular tissue and fat tissue both in high amounts. Surgery and liposuction can be used to remove tissues.
- Fatty Type Gynecomastia: High fat tissue ratio. Primarily liposuction method is preferred to fix the issue.
How is Gynecomastia Treated?
Gynecomastia is a treatable condition. Gynecomastia is commonly treated by surgery but depending on the age and breast enlargement of the patient other options can be evaluated. For teenagers doctors may prefer hormone regulating medications and observation. Teenage years is highly tense in terms of hormonal changes so gynecomastia may go away on its own. But if gynecomastia is present over 4 years and disc diameter is larger than 6 cm surgical methods are preferred.
How Is Gynecomastia Surgery Done?
Gynecomastia surgery can be done in different ways depending on the type of gynecomastia patient has. If patient has a higher ratio of fatty tissue liposuction may be more suitable. Especially when laser and vaser liposuction is done application can pass more smoothly and painless. On vaser and laser liposuction fat cells are torn down before procedure and is aspirated from the area using a cannula. This lessens bleeding during procedure allowing a more comfortable surgery.
Gynecomastia surgery is done under anaesthesia and patients do not feel any pain during procedure. After surgery patients are recommended to rest for a few days. To ease pain painkillers and antibiotics may be prescribed. After Gynecomastia surgery edema and swelling may occur. Results of the procedure can be seen 1 month after surgery. During this period to protect tissues and help healing gynecomastia garment must be used.