4 Need to Know Facts About Gynecomastia


1. Often a temporary condition.

In the vast majority of cases of enlargement of the male breast (Gynecomastia) the condition is temporary and it usually occurs during the puberty (ages: 13 to 18). If, however, the condition persists after the teenage years then the chance of this condition being permanent becomes more of a concern. For obvious sensitive reasons this condition is rarely talked about. Gynecomastia is actually quite common and affects 40 to 60 percent of men. Most males that seek treatment are between the ages of 18 to 50.  They usually indicate that they were unaware of any other family members having the condition and they relate a history of avoiding circumstances that require a bare chest. i.e.  Swimming with a “T” shirt on or avoiding the boys' shower after a football game. They are otherwise healthy and are on no medication that may have caused this condition. On examination these males fall into two main categories:

  •  24 year old active male that noticed breast enlargement during puberty and it has worsened well into his young adult years.  He often states that he can now feel a firm mass beneath each nipple. 
  • 35 to 50 year old male that has noticed increasing breast enlargement since the age of 40.  He admits to some weight gain over the past few years and often complains of the chest fullness extending toward his armpits.  His main concern is that he has found it necessary in wearing larger shirts to conceal his condition. 

2. The most common causes of Male Breast Enlargement are:

A. Breast Tumors: these are usually benign and also most commonly Involve one breast.

B. Medications may have a side effect of causing male breast enlargement: amphetamines, Risperdal (anti-psychotic medication), Anabolic Steroids and Anti-Anxiety medications.

C. Drugs such as Marijuana, Alcohol and Heroin.

D. Natural Aging with a loss of chest wall skin elasticity.

E. Obesity: not really breast tissue enlargement but an excessive fatty accumulating in the chest.

F. Hormonal changes during puberty

 3.The Best Candidates for Gynecomastia Correction aren’t taking any of the indicated medication noted above and a breast tumor has been ruled out.  These males have firm elastic skin that will reshape to the body’s new contour once the excess breast tissue is removed.

4. The Male Breast Reduction Procedure:

  1. The incisions are usually hidden within the dark portion of the nipple. To ensure confidentiality most procedures can be done in an office setting.
  2. The anesthetic of choice is a mild I.V. sedation plus a local anesthetic of the chest.
  3. The procedure takes about 1 ½ hours to perform and there are weight lifting restrictions for about 2 weeks afterward. 
Article by
Eau Claire Plastic Surgeon