Gynecomastia Causes and Surgery


For men with gynecomastia, a trip to the beach or pool can be an embarrassing prospect. It’s a condition caused by an imbalance of estrogen and testosterone, which enlarges breast tissue in men; one or both breasts can be affected.

Gynecomastia typically surfaces either in newborns, older men, and during puberty, and is usually a result of natural changes in hormone levels. Sometimes, though, the condition has a different cause. These can include use of certain medications, including steroids, treatments for prostate and other types of cancer, HIV medications, antidepressants and antianxiety medications, antibiotics, heart medications, and ulcer treatments; abuse of substances such as alcohol, heroin, methadone, amphetamines, or marijuana; and some health conditions, like cirrhosis, tumors, obesity, and malnutrition.

While this condition often goes away on its own as hormone levels adjust, sometimes it persists, and treatment is necessary. This is especially true if gynecomastia causes pain or embarrassment, as it does for some men and boys who suffer from the condition. Sometimes, drugs commonly used to treat breast cancer, are prescribed. These can help correct the hormone imbalance and resolve the condition. If the condition is caused by an underlying health condition or use of certain substances or medication, resolving this issue usually resolves the gynecomastia symptoms.

In other cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the excess breast tissue. Liposuction can be used to remove the fat in the area, restoring a more normal appearance. In extreme cases where other treatments are not effective, a mastectomy may be recommended. With mastectomy, the breast gland tissue is entirely removed. While this is a more involved surgery than liposuction, it can often be done endoscopically. This means that the procedure is performed through tiny incisions, allowing for less trauma and a shorter recovery time.

If you or your son is struggling with gynecomastia, there is hope. Contact the office of Dr. Steven Warnock today. During the consultation, the cause of and potential treatment for this often sensitive condition will be determined. For those who are struggling with body image as a result of this condition, it’s time to take action.