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One of the most common reasons men seek plastic surgery is to reduce or eliminate their gynecomastia, which is an atypical growth of breast tissue in both boys and men. This condition can cause one or both breasts to grow, sometimes presenting itself unevenly with the excessive growth of a single breast.

Man cupping his hand over his breast wearing a white t-shirt.

Gynecomastia presents both physical and emotional challenges for teenage boys and aging men, as no one wants to see themselves with a dreaded and unwanted “man boob.” 

What Causes Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is caused by a number of factors. Some of the most common include:

  • Hormonal changes – Boys and men naturally produce a small amount of estrogen, which usually controls the appearance of sexual characteristics in women. When the amount of estrogen reduces the level of testosterone in males, their breast tissue may start to grow unchecked, resulting in gynecomastia.
  • Medication – Certain medicines, such as those used to treat an enlarged prostate, anabolic steroids to enhance muscle mass, and certain antiretroviral medications used in AIDS treatments, may cause a testosterone imbalance that could lead to gynecomastia.
  • Street drugs and alcohol – It has been found that a variety of substances, such as marijuana, amphetamines, heroin, and alcohol, can cause gynecomastia in men.
  • Pre-existing conditions – Conditions such as hypogonadism, tumors, aging, and hyperthyroidism, can affect testosterone levels, leading to gynecomastia.

Most often, gynecomastia is treated with a surgical procedure known as gynecomastia surgery or male breast reduction.

How Can You Prevent Gynecomastia Naturally?

Because gynecomastia is sometimes a sign of another health problem, it is always a good idea to consult your primary physician before considering plastic surgery. 

Once your underlying problem is treated, gynecomastia can sometimes be taken care of in various nonsurgical ways. Occasionally, stopping drug and alcohol use or changing medications will prevent the atypical growth of breast tissue.

What Are the Symptoms of Gynecomastia?

Regardless of the underlying reason for the development of gynecomastia, the symptoms are usually the same and include tenderness and swelling in the area. 

If you are experiencing these symptoms, talk to your doctor for an appropriate diagnosis.

How Is Gynecomastia Treated?

While gynecomastia can resolve on its own (particularly in adolescents as they enter adulthood) or for those whose gynecomastia was caused by drug or medication use, it often cannot be removed without surgical intervention.

There are several surgical approaches to treatment, including liposuction and excision methods.

Liposuction is used to remove the fat deposits that cause an excess, whereas tissue excision is used to remove overdeveloped glandular tissue.

Interested in Learning More?

At the Valley Institute of Plastic Surgery, we strive to help men who suffer from gynecomastia recover the most natural look and feel they can aspire to. Don’t hesitate and give us a call at (559) 435-9646 today. You can also fill out our online contact form.