Abnormal and excessive enlargement of male breasts.. This may be distressing to many men because gynecomastia can be referred to as “man boobs.” Most men avoid taking their shirts off and avoid bathing suit season.
What types of gynecomastia are there?
There are four types of gynecomastia:
- True Gynecomastia: True enlargement of male breast glandular tissue.
- Pseudo-gynecomastia: Excessive fatty breast tissue. Excessive number and size of fat cells or adipocytes is the culprit.
- Excessive skin of breasts: The problem here is a large excessive envelope of stretched skin. This type of gynecomastia is common after excessive weight loss and may be referred to as “hanging man boobs.”
- Combination of all of the above: Stretch marks are commonly associated with any or all of the above types of gynecomastia.
In the end, what is the goal of a gynecomastia procedure?
A single, safe procedure that reduces bulky breasts and tightens, lifts and firms the skin. The end goal is to enhance the definition of the chest area.
What causes gynecomastia?
In the case of true gynecomastia, the problem is almost always a result of a long lasting hormonal imbalance where the level of female hormone estrogen is higher than it should normally be. With other forms of gynecomastia, hormonal abnormalities may or may not play a role. Obese males, however, usually have a contributing metabolic or hormonal disorder.
What is adolescent gynecomastia?
During adolescence, young males may have transient increases in levels of testosterone with a corresponding increase in estrogen levels, leading to glandular tissue hypertrophy. This is physiologic and not pathologic process. This short term condition usually resolves spontaneously in few months or few years. However, it may become distressing when it persists past two to three years.
What is drug induced gynecomastia?
Many drugs may stimulate gynecomastia in males. The most notorious drugs associated with gynecomastia are alcohol, marijuana and heroin. Anabolic steroids, such as exogenous testosterone, is another cause of true gynecomastia. Substance induced gynecomastia usually, but not always, resolves after cessation of the substance abuse but definitely reappears if substance usage is resumed. Certain blood pressure and heart medications, and ulcer drugs such as gastric acid inhibitors, may also cause gynecomastia.