Gynaecomastia is a swelling of the breast tissue in boys or men, which is caused by an imbalance of hormones called estrogen and testosterone. Generally, gynaecomastia isn’t a serious problem but can present challenges where pain and psychological effects such as embarrassment are present. It’s true that whilst gynaecomastia, or ‘man boobs,’ generally results in few physical complications, it can result in emotional or psychological problems caused by appearance. Read on for our breakdown of the top four things that might surprise you about this condition, as well as the signs of Gynaecomastia!
Led by Dr Michael Rich, ENRICH Clinic is home to extensive treatments and procedures including the treatment of gynaecomastia or fat tissue in the chest. Contact us to arrange a consultation today.
The signs of gynaecomastia
The signs and symptoms of gynaecomastia include swelling of the breast gland tissue and tenderness in the chest area. It is important to consult a doctor if you have any swelling, pain, tenderness or discharge in one or both breasts.
What causes gynaecomastia?
Gynaecomastia is the result of a decrease in the amount of the hormone testosterone in comparison with estrogen. Testosterone controls male traits, such as muscle mass and body hair and estrogen controls female traits such as growing breast. Gynaecomastia can develop when this hormonal imbalance occurs. The hormonal imbalance that can cause the development of breast tissue in male chests can be the result of natural hormone changes resulting in an imbalance between testosterone and estrogen in the body. Many people consider estrogen to be an exclusively female hormone, but it is also present in men, albeit in small quantities. If male estrogen levels are too high or out of balance with testosterone gynaecomastia can occur. Gynaecomastia can also occur as a result of some medications.
Your doctor will take your medical history and assist you in assessing whether the enlarged tissue in the chest area is the result of gynaecomastia or pseudo-gynaecomastia, where the enlarged chest area is the result of an accumulation of fat only. You may be referred for blood tests or ultrasound in order to determine the best method of treatment.
How do I know if I have gynaecomastia?
There’s an important distinction to be made between fat tissue, which accumulates as a result of genetics or diet and exercise habits and an increase in glandular breast tissue as a result of an imbalance in hormones. Fat tissue in the chest area is not gynaecomastia. Indeed, the term ‘man boobs’ encompasses both the enlargement of the male chest due to a hormonal imbalance or the accumulation of fat tissue only. True gynaecomastia occurs when the breast tissue is enlarged due to a hormonal imbalance. In order to assess the difference, your doctor will likely refer you for ultrasounds or blood tests to ascertain the nature of the tissue in the chest area. Fat tissue can be easily treated with liposuction or fat removal techniques. In contrast, breast or glandular tissue cannot be treated with liposuction or fat removal processes because
Help is out there!
Many cases of gynaecomastia resolve over time without treatment intervention. However, if the gynaecomastia is caused by an underlying medical condition, treatment of the underlying condition may work to resolve the condition. Similarly, if your gynaecomastia is the result of a medication you are taking, your doctor may recommend that you cease taking the medication or consider a substitution.
Liposuction is an option for the removal of fat tissue, but not the enlarged breast gland tissue itself. This is why your doctor may refer you for further tests in order to assess the nature of the tissue before deciding on a treatment regime. If gynaecomastia does not resolve, a mastectomy procedure which involves the removal of breast tissue can be employed. Much like tumescent liposuction, a mastectomy will often be performed with small incisions and require less downtime. ENRICH Clinic does not perform mastectomies.
Contact us to arrange a consultation with one of our friendly and experienced doctors.