Do I have gynecomastia, and do all men have mammary glands?

Since I was a teenager (now 25) I've had a lot of breast tissue. Lately I have discovered by pressing hard into the area of and around the nipple that there are small lumps in my chest. They don't feel very big, less than an inch in size. I was wondering if it may be gynecomastia, or if it is supposed to be there? I've been told all men have mammary glands, so this is very confusing to me. I've added some pictures too. Thanks in advance.

Doctor Answers 5

Do I have gynecomastia, and do all men have mammary glands?

Judging from your photos, you do have very minor gynecomastia (enlarged breast in a male). This is very commonly seen and best treated with a combination of an excision of the breast core just behind the nipple and liposuction to assure the result is smooth. This can be performed under local anesthesia in your case, or general anesthesia if you prefer. Through the years I have found this to be a very gratifying procedure for patients with this problem.It is possible in some cases to correct mild gynecomastia with liposuction alone, particularly using the "Tickle Lipo," but a personal examination by a board certified Plastic Surgeon would be necessary to determine if this option is a viable alternative.
The recovery is just a couple of days with the exception of exercising and getting over-heated, which takes more recovery time according to the extent of the problem and surgery.Thank you for your question and photos.

Gynecomastia removal

Healthy male patients with excess breast tissue or unwanted breast development who have no underlying breast disease.Men who desire improved physical and aesthetic appearance should have realistic expectations based on their condition and the procedure performed. You should meet with a board certified plastic surgeon to be able to get a formal diagnosis and to be able to decide on a course of treatment if necessary.

Do I have gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia, or abnormal enlargement of the breast in a male, often presents in the early teen years and can result in a palpable breast mass in the central aspect of the chest behind the nipple.  All men do have breast tissue but it is not usually not palpable unless it increases in size as a result of hormones, medications, recreational drug use, or other medical conditions.  Based on your time of onset and palpable lumps it sounds like you have gynecomastia.  Treatment can involve liposuction and/or surgical excision of the breast tissue depending on the size of the breast tissue.  An exam by a plastic surgeon will help you determine the best treatment plan for you.

Do I have gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is the appearance of a female breast in men.  The condition can range from very minor projection of the nipple areola complex, or "puffy nipple" appearance, to severe excess of breast tissue and fat, with a large, possible sagging skin envelope.  You appear to have a minor case, as you have mild projection of tissue, best seen in your oblique view photo.  All men have some form of rudimentary breast tissue, and in most men it is quite minimal.  Anabolic steroids, marijuana, and finasteride, a drug used for hair growth in small doses and benign prostate gland hyperplasia in larger doses, are a few causes of breast tissue growth in men.Surgery for gynecomastia typically consists of a combination of liposuction and direct tissue excision through a small incision on the underside of the nipple areola complex.  I seldom use drains in this surgery, although some plastic surgeons use them routinely.

George H. Pope, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

The Types of Gynecomastia and Their Treatment

There are several common factors which contribute to gynecomastia. These include excessive levels of #estrogen, natural #hormone changes, use of recreational drugs or alcohol, medications and their associated side effects, and, various health conditions. Also, there are different types of #gynecomastia.

Normal Gynecomastia is usually apparent in boy between the ages of 12 to 15 years old and older men 65 years old or more who experience a drop in their testosterone levels. This type of Gynecomastia takes about one to two years to regress on its own.
Pure Glandular Gynecomastia is seen more commonly in body builders and is caused by steroid use. Surgical removal of the gland is required for treatment.
Adult Gynecomastia – Fat deposits are apparent in the glandular tissue. This type of gynecomastia is the most common. Doctors may recommend surgery for treatment of the condition.
Adolescent Gynecomastia is hereditary and usually appears in 30% to 60% of boys between the ages of nine to fourteen. Many cases of adolescent gynecomastia resolve on its own as the boy grows into adulthood. Some may choose to undergo surgery to correct the situation, this usually happens at the age of 18 or above. In severe cases in young boys, the physician and child development specialists will need to speak to the parents regarding the severity of the gynecomastia and if surgery is an option before the age of 18.
Assymetric or Unilateral Gynecomastia appears in either one or both breasts at different degrees. In many cases one breast appears larger than the other. Surgery is a common treatment for this type of gynecomastia.
Pseudo-Gynecomastia is composed of adipose tissue instead of glandular tissue. This type of gynecomastia can be treated with diet, liposuction or surgery
Severe Gynecomastia commonly affects those who have lost skin elasticity at an older age and those who have been obese or overweight at one point in their life and lost weight may have saggy skin and breasts that are severely enlarged. Surgery is the recommended treatment for severe gynecomastia.
There are three types of surgical treatment options available that treat gynecomastia. The doctor will recommend the one that is best suited to each individual case.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 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.