How do I Tell if my Gynecomastia is Caused by Fatty Tissues or Breast Tissues?

Doctor Answers (22)



An exam with a board certified plastic surgeon can definitely help figure this out. This determination will help decide on the appropriate surgial technique to improve the look of the chest.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Male breast fatty tissue or glandular tissue requires a consultation to sort out.


Enlargement of the male breast known as "gynecomastia" is most often a combination of both glandular tissue and extra fatty tissue. An examination  by a Plastic Surgeon can usually sort this out but occasionally imaging studies such as ultrasound, Xray or MRI can be useful. If you have a very lean body with firm or nodular tissue directly behind the nipple only then chances are this is mostly glandular tissue. By far the majority of men who we help with this condition have this glandular tissue as well as a disproportionate amount of fatty tissue on the chest.

The first step in correcting this is to be near your ideal weight and rule out any medical issues that may be treatable without surgery. Medically reversible causes of gynecomastia are uncommon so the best treatment then becomes surgery. Results from surgical management done by a Plastic Surgeon are highly successful and satisfying for most patients. Good Luck!

Dr. Mosher

Mathew C. Mosher, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

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How do I Tell if my Gynecomastia is Caused by Fatty Tissues or Breast Tissues?


By going for an examination by a boarded plastic surgeon. Over the internet impossible to advise without that touchy feely experience. From MIAMI Dr. Darryl j. Blinski

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
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Gynecomastia Usually Comprised of Both Fatty & Glandular Tissue


 90% of the cases of the cases that I see of gynecomastia have elements of both excess fat and glandular tissue.  For that reason my treatment  ususally is both excision and liposuction.  Occasionally only one of these elements is present.  Consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon should provide your answer.

John Whitt, MD
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
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Gynecomastia Fat or breast tissue

Gynecomastia can be fat, glandular, or a combination of both. An experienced plastic surgeon can tell you with you have an can put a unique surgical plan together for you that will address your concerns while leaving as few visible scars as possible.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
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Gynecomastia Can Occur in Several Forms


                  Gynecomastia can occur in several forms. In some cases known as glandular gynecomastia there may actually be growth of the breast tissue. In other cases there may be diffuse fatty tissue and in some cases there may be a combination of both types of gynecomastia.

                  The differentiation of glandular gynecomastia from diffuse fatty gynecomastia is extremely important for several reasons. Not only is the cause of these conditions different, but they may require different treatments as well.

                  In the majority of patients physical examination by a plastic surgeon can differentiate these conditions. When glandular tissue is present, there is firmness which is not present with fatty tissue. In rare cases, radiographic studies, ultrasound or MRI studies may be necessary for this differentiation. This is important because treatment may vary depending upon the specific type of gynecomastia which is present. In some cases where there is a glandular component, excision will be necessary. In cases where diffuse fatty tissue is present, liposuction may be adequate. 

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews


In most cases Gynaecomastia is a combination of both. The ratio of the glandular tissue to the fat tissue determines if you would need only liposuction or, liposuction with excisional surgery. Skin laxity might need to be addressed too with skin excision.

The best way to find out would be to visit a board certified plastic surgeon for an examination and opinion.

Sameer Karkhanis, MD
India Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Fatty tissue or glandular tissue in male breasts: gynecomastia


Sometimes it is hard to know if the "fullness" is fatty or true glandular tissue.  If you are very thin, the breast tissue may be easy to feel, it will feel very hard.  If it is hard to tell you will likely need surgery, either lipo or excision either way.

Jeffrey Ditesheim, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Gynecomastia: Breast Tissue or Fat?


Usually it is a combination of both, the breast tissue feels firmer than the fat, but you might not be able to tell the difference. See a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who specializes in gynecomastia for an evaluation. Good Luck.

Miguel Delgado, Jr., MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.