Gynecomastia (often referred to as man boobs), occurs when male breast tissue swells or increases. And mostly happens because of a hormone imbalance rather than weight gain, as is commonly thought.
And while diet, exercise and even medication can help, surgery is often the best option for sufferers. The development of man boobs can present many physiological and emotional challenges. And if left untreated, it can harm the long term mental health the person affected. It may even exacerbate any underlying mental condition. So it’s essential to understand why it’s happening and what the treatment options are. Only then can we make the best-informed decision about what to do about it.
The most effective solution for enlarged breasts and to achieve a more sculpted chest area is gynecomastia surgery. This simple procedure can provide immediate, long term results with minimal scarring and a very short recovery time. And we’ve linked a video here if you’d like to know more about this procedure and what to expect.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the reasons gynecomastia may occur and what that means when it comes to making decisions about your treatment plan.
While estrogen is predominantly a female hormone males can also produce it, though normally in much smaller amounts. Estrogen contributes to the reproductive system and the development of breasts in women. So, similarly, increased estrogen in males can also cause breast tissue growth.
On the other hand, the primary sex hormone for men is testosterone. Testosterone handles the development of the reproductive system in males. Meaning that it’s responsible for developing prostate and testes, as well as promoting hair, bone, and muscle mass growth. A decrease in its production, especially in aging men, can also lead to breast enlargement. But blaming hormones is not quite as simple as it sounds since there can be many reasons that males experience fluctuating hormones.
Excessive breast tissue can occur at any age in men, from infants to geriatric males. And a decrease in testosterone levels with an increase in estrogen may happen for many reasons. So when dealing with hormonal induced gynecomastia, it’s vital to consider both internal and external factors relating to the individual. This can include:
- Whether the client is going through puberty
- Age of the patient
- Drugs and alcohol use of the patient
- Chronic illness or disease concerns
- Medications being used by the individual
Young males may experience mild to moderately enlarged breasts during puberty. This is similar to female breast development during adolescence and is not an uncommon occurrence at this time.
In fact, this is a natural hormonal imbalance through puberty which usually corrects itself towards the end of the teen years. The bigger issue here is that sufferers may avoid social activities because of psychological problems linked to having gynecomastia. And events such as swimming and playing sports may cause distress to the individual.
In most cases of the issue will resolve by the late stages of adolescent development. However, if your teen is avoiding social situations because of this, seek medical advice from a trained specialist. Emotional and social support will be crucial during this period of physical development.
While men can experience the increased development of breast fat at any time in their lives, the most common age bracket is most often between 50 and 70 years of age.
Embarrassment and low self-esteem can result at any age due to developing man boobs, even among ageing males. Developing gynecomastia can alter how an individual interacts with family and friends. And simple social settings may see a focus on the physical rather than everyday life. Even simple pleasures like wearing a favourite shirt may become a challenge to a sufferer.
Often there can be some definite breast fat reduction through diet and regular exercise at this time. But consulting a medical practitioner about medications and lifestyle can help too. On the other hand, gynecomastia surgery can be an effective solution in older men so it’s worth consulting with a surgeon.
At least a quarter of men will experience gynecomastia at some point in their life. In some instances, it may cause an increase in breast tissue swelling, and soreness may be present. There may even be a discharge from the nipples in some cases. And while there are no real physical concerns associated with the condition, the emotional effects of gynecomastia can be significant for many sufferers.
Here are some of the basics you need to know when considering gynecomastia surgery:
- For gynecomastia due to medications or weight gain, be prescription free and maintain weight loss for optimal results.
- Gynecomastia surgery may be partially covered by Medicare and private health insurance.
- Try to quit smoking before surgery to prevent complications.
Now, while gynecomastia surgery is common practice, selecting the best surgeon possible for your individual case is crucial for optimal results and peace of mind.
Besides training and experience, your surgeon should be professional while also understanding of your unique situation. And it would be best if you were confident that you’ll receive the best care and get the best possible results from your chosen practitioner.
But while you must ask plenty of questions about a surgeons experience with this particular procedure, it’s also crucial to do your own research before the surgery.
This means collecting as much information as possible during the consultation process. And make sure you provide as much detail as possible regarding family and medical history. This will ensure that your surgeon can fulfil his obligations to you by giving you the best possible outcome for long term results.
When we think about our health, we tend to consider the physical more than the psychological factors of ourselves. But the truth is that we need to think more holistically about long term wellness. Gynecomastia surgery may be a simple cosmetic procedure. Still, it can also help to resolve much of the psychological and emotional distress felt by sufferers.