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Gynaecomastia: The Causes and Treatment

March 20, 2015

Imagine visiting a doctor and he informs you that you have gynaecomastia or enlarged breasts. Now this does not sound crazy, right? Let me be more specific, gynaecomastia is also known as enlarged male breasts. This is infamously known as ‘man boobs’. This condition occurs when breast tissue begins growing on the man’s chest. It is important to note that it is one of the main characteristics of puberty as over 60% of young men aged around 14 years have enlarged breasts. The great part about puberty gynaecomastia is that it goes away over time without the need for surgery or medication. However, there are other forms of enlarged male breasts that need a deeper look.

Gynaecomastia usually comes as a small lump that stops growing unlike that of females. One of the most common causes of enlarged male breasts is excess estrogen in the body or female hormones. It is a hormonal imbalance that can be corrected through medication that will create hormonal balance in the body. Other causes of gynaecomastia are the side effects of medication or drugs in the body. A cocktail of medication and recreational drugs such as heroin and marijuana can trigger hormonal changes in the body when can trigger enlarged male breasts.
One of the reasons why one can get enlarged male breasts is treatment of the male reproductive system, the testicles to be exact. When you get an infection in the testicles or when getting treatment through radiation, it is usual for the breast tissue to enlarge. Other conditions that can cause breast enlargement include liver disease, thyroid medication, breast cancer, kidney failure and fatty breast deposits. Please note that genetics and family medical history can be looked into in order to determine if the condition is common in your family.

So what is the treatment for gynaecomastia?

There are many ways that it can be treated that do not have to be surgical. Many males will tend to go for surgical removal of enlarged breasts because of shame and ridicule. However, in order to be properly treated, a doctor will test for a number of ailments in order to eliminate and possible conditions that may be causing the symptom. Tests such as ultrasound scans, chest x-rays, tissue biopsy as well as MRI and CT scans will be able to establish this.

Once the cause of the enlarged male breasts is determined, then there are varying treatments that can be administered. If it is a hormonal situation, medication will be recommended in order to put things into balance. In addition, hormonal replacement and use of inhibitors can sort out hormonal imbalances. When it comes to surgery, it is important for the doctor to determine if it is enlarged tissue or fatty deposits. In the latter case, procedures such as liposuction can clear that up. In the case of tissue, the enlarged tissue will be sliced out.
It does seem like a sensitive subject for men because they fear having their egos bruised with people mocking them for having ‘man boobs’. However, it is not unheard of for males to have enlarged breasts and with time, testing and relevant treatment, it is possible to keep this condition in control.

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