As the warmer months approach, it should be time to get excited about relaxing at the beach or the pool. But if you’re already cringing because you don’t want to take your shirt off and don’t want anyone to see your chest, you’re not alone.
Many men dealing with gynecomastia feel the exact same way. Fortunately, this is not a condition you have to just accept for the rest of your life as you keep that shirt on at pool parties or beach barbeques. At Innovations Medical, we have a range of options for removing unwanted male breast tissue.
What is gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is medically defined as the appearance of a female-like breast in a male. The average person might call it “man boobs” or “moobs.” Gynecomastia is caused by an imbalance of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. When these hormones become unbalanced, breast tissue begins to grow.
Unwanted male breast tissue can develop in both breasts, or bilaterally, and as if developing unwanted breast tissue wasn’t enough, it can also happen on just one side. When unwanted male breast tissue develops on one side, it is known as unilateral gynecomastia. Unilateral gynecomastia accounts for around 10% of gynecomastia cases.
Gynecomastia Causes and Risk Factors
There are a wide range of underlying causes for the hormonal imbalance that leads to the development of male breast tissue. In many cases, natural hormonal changes are the primary cause. Men between the ages of 50 to 80 begin to experience a natural drop in testosterone that can increase the chances of gynecomastia developing.
Other major causes and risk factors that can contribute to hormonal imbalances and the potential for gynecomastia include:
- Certain medications, including prostate medications, steroids, antidepressants, ADHD medication, heart medication and chemotherapy drugs
- Excessive alcohol consumption and recreational drug use
- Conditions including hypogonadism, tumors, hyperthyroidism, and kidney failure
It is possible to have the underlying hormonal imbalance and increased estrogen levels associated with gynecomastia without developing visible breast tissue. But in many cases, these conditions can lead to the growth of man boobs. In addition to visibly enlarged breasts, other symptoms can include:
- Swelling in the breast area
- Tenderness and some pain
- Sensitivity in the nipples
Gynecomastia is primarily seen as a cosmetic issue, but patients should see a doctor if there is excessive pain and/or discharge from the nipples.
Quality of Life, Social, and Psychological Complications with Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia happens to a lot of men — more than 75% of men will experience some form of gynecomastia in their lifetime. Although the tissue that forms typically isn’t dangerous, it still can have a negative impact on your life and even on your mental health.
Many men living with gynecomastia experience:
- Social anxiety
A study performed by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons also found that men living with gynecomastia rated themselves as having a lesser quality of life than men who did not have unwanted breast tissue.
Men living with gynecomastia also were found to have lower scores for general health and were more often overweight.
Treatment Options for Gynecomastia and Man Boobs
If you’re tired of having a reduced quality of life because of gynecomastia, or if you’re sick of feeling self-conscious about your chest and you don’t want to sweat out another summer undercover, you don’t have to. Dr. Johnson and the caring team at Innovations Medical is here to help.
We routinely treat men for unwanted breast tissue. Using state-of-the-art liposuction, we can remove unwanted fat and tissue quickly and discreetly. This means you can get the look you want without anyone else knowing you had a procedure.
Not only does liposuction help reduce the appearance of gynecomastia entirely, but it also provides you with another benefit: skin tightening. Our liposuction procedure causes skin tightening in the treatment area, which leaves you with a more defined look, too. Bonus!
Contact Innovations Medical for Information on Male Breast Reduction Procedures
If you’re looking to address unsightly man boobs related to gynecomastia, Innovations Medical is here for you. Our skilled professionals help you decide which treatment is best for you – keeping you informed and confident in the next steps. We’ve been helping our patients look and feel their best since 2005, and even our most advanced procedures are often minimally invasive.