Gynecomastia is a condition in men where the breast glands gets enlarged and becomes abnormally big. From the look of it, one may think someone has extra fat but that’s not it. Its actually caused by hormonal imbalance. It may occur during infancy or even during puberty. It is more common in male when they are approaching middle age and older age group
One common mistake with Gynecomastia is that, people get confused where they refer this condition as accumulation of fat which is the case of actual pseudogynecomastia in obese man.
Main causes of Gynecomastia
1. Imbalance in hormone levels: Men suffering from Gynecomastia tends to have more estrogen (female hormone) than androgens(male hormone). In a normal growing child or pubertal boys, the problem gets resolved on its own and does not require any treatment
2. Malnutrition: Malnutrition have shown to create a hormonal home that may lead to Gynecomastia
3.Medications: Antibiotics, ulcer medication, chemotherapy, calcium channel blockers used to cure hypertension, anabolic steroids and some heart drugs can cause breasts to enlarge in men
Other causes could be fat deposits or cysts.
Diagnostic evaluation is only needed when the mass is hard, unilateral and fixed. Doctor may recommend physical examination of the breast tissues. Your doctor may ask for biopsy also to rule out the chances of breast cancer. May include blood tests to check hormonal levels and imaging tests such as ultrasound or a CT scan to look for tumors.
Treatment of Gynecomastia
Generally Gynecomastia gets cured on its own but one cannot just leave it as it is. If there are symptoms it could be due to some other underlying conditions.
Mostly the treatment used for gynecomastia depends on the factor for enlargement. If medicine is the cause , your doctor may ask you to stop the medication and offer you an alternative. If a particular disease is the cause of the enlargement , you will be treated for it to get rid of Gynecomastia. If you still suffer bothersome enlargement then the doctor may recommend surgery and there are two options.
Liposuction: Specially if one had Gynecomastia for long surgery could be done to remove breast fat but not the breast gland tissues.
Mastectomy: Here the surgery is done endoscopically. A small incision is done and the recovery is less
It is best to talk to your doctor unless the whole symptoms are disclosed, doctor can fail to diagnose the actual cause of enlargement. In most cases if the enlargement is temporary, doctor may recommend revaluation at frequent interval every three or six months.