Gynaecomastia is a common condition that causes boys’ and men’s breasts to swell and become larger than normal.
What is Gynaecomastia?
Gynaecomastia (sometimes referred to as "man boobs") is a common condition that causes boys’ and men’s breasts to swell and become larger than normal. It is most common in teenage boys and older men.
What are the signs of gynaecomastia?
Signs vary from a small amount of extra tissue around the nipples to more prominent breasts. It can affect one or both breasts.
Sometimes, the breast tissue can be tender or painful, but this isn’t always the case.
What causes gynaecomastia?
Gynaecomastia can have several causes.
Gynaecomastia can be caused by an imbalance between the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen. Oestrogen causes breast tissue to grow. While all men produce some oestrogen, they usually have much higher levels of testosterone, which stops the oestrogen from causing breast tissue to grow.
If the balance of hormones in the body changes, this can cause a man’s breasts to grow. Sometimes, the cause of this imbalance is unknown.
Some growth in breast tissue is not due to extra body fat from being overweight, so losing weight or doing more exercise may not improve the condition. However, a common reason for gynaecomastia is that being very overweight (obese) can increase levels of oestrogen, which can cause breast tissue to grow.
Newborn baby boys
Gynaecomastia can affect newborn baby boys, because oestrogen passes through theplacenta from the mother to the baby. This is temporary and will disappear a few weeks after the baby is born.
During puberty, boys’ hormone levels vary. If the level of testosterone drops, oestrogen can cause breast tissue to grow. Many teenage boys have some degree of breast enlargement. Gynaecomastia at puberty usually clears up as boys get older and their hormone levels become more stable.
As men get older, they produce less testosterone. Older men also tend to have more body fat, and this can cause more oestrogen to be produced. These changes in hormone levels can lead to excess breast tissue growth.
In rare cases, gynaecomastia can be caused by:
- side effects of medication – such as anti-ulcer drugs or medication for heart disease
- drinking too much alcohol
- a health abnormality – such as kidney failure or liver disease
- Klinefelter’s syndrome (a rare genetic disorder)
- lumps or infection in the testicles
Management of Gynaecomastia
Generally, no treatment is required for physiologic gynecomastia.
Pubertal gynecomastia resolves spontaneously within several weeks to 3 years in approximately 90% of patients. Breasts greater than 4 cm in diameter may not completely regress.
A major factor that should influence the initial choice of therapy for gynecomastia is the condition’s duration. It is unlikely that any medical therapy will result in significant regression in the late fibrotic stage (a duration of 12mo or longer) of gynecomastia.
Surgery for gynaecomastia
It is done on a day care basis, therefore you will be able to go home the same day.
The surgical time is usually 1 – 2 hours
it is done as a combination of Liposuction and glandular excision.
Liposuction is done to remove the fat component of the gynaecomastia, this is followed by periareolar / transnipple excision of the gland.
Compresssion garments are applied to maintain the skin in contact with underlying tissues, avoiding hematoma and seromas.
Immediate and Long Term Effects of Gynecomastia Surgery
Instantaneous Breast Reduction
Since surgery is as direct of an approach to removing enlarged male breasts as anyone can hope for, the results can be seen right after the procedure. Granted the chest area will remain bandaged in order to prevent any post-operative infection (this is quite a common occurrence), but the effects are immediately apparent.
Reduced Likelihood of Recurrence
Those who choose to undergo man boob surgery do so in the hopes of avoiding recurrence of the condition. While it is true that surgery will lessen the likelihood of developing man breasts again, there is no 100% guarantee for this.
Recovery from gynaecomastia surgery
You will be able to perform normal daily activities from the day of surgery. There will be some pain in the chest area once the anaesthesia wears off.
Gym and Sports activities can be resumed after 3 weeks
which can occur include
- Sloughing of tissue due to a compromised blood supply,
- Contour irregularity,
- Hematoma or seroma formation,
- And permanent numbness in the nipple-areolar area.