Gynecomastia can be an embarrassing condition. In many cases this is because few people take them time to discover why it occurs and what can be done to prevent it. Instead, men banter about ‘man boobs’ and excess fat like it is some kind of joke. However, for those men living with the condition, it is anything but funny. A loss of self-confidence, feeling less masculine and poor overall body image are just some of the common side effects of men suffering from this misunderstood condition can experience.
Ready to learn more? Here are some of the key facts that you need to know about gynecomastia.
Excess breast tissue can happen to men at any age
Although there are certain times during your life when you are naturally more likely to suffer from gynecomastia, it can occur at any age. It may also disappear and reoccur.
Hormones can be responsible for the development of gynecomastia
Hormones are one of several causes that can contribute towards gynecomastia. In the teenage years, a surge in hormones can be responsible for excess breast tissue production. You are also more prone to gynecomastia if you are senior in age. This is because as you get older, testosterone production slows down and estrogen increases. Estrogen is responsible for breast tissue growth and an unusually high level in a man can cause male breast tissue to develop.
Medication side effects can also cause gynecomastia
Side effects are a common occurrence with many prescription medications, and gynecomastia is just one of many that you might experience if you take certain drugs. Some of the most common medications to cause excess breast tissue development as a side effect include drugs for an enlarged prostate, antidepressants, some types of antibiotics and heart and thyroid medications.
Overweight men are more likely to suffer from gynecomastia
Obesity plays a key role in the development of many health problems – including gynecomastia. If you are significantly overweight, you are much more likely to have excess body fat. Exactly how this is distributed will vary from person to person, but nearly all men will see an increase in the amount of breast tissue that they have.
Alcohol consumption could play a role in the development of gynecomastia
You could be forgiven for thinking that the alcohol you drink would have no bearing on excess breast tissue, but you would be wrong. A man who has an above average alcohol consumption may not only be prone to putting on weight, which is a well-known factor in the development of gynecomastia but could also be damaging his liver. In doing so, you may inadvertently be interfering with the liver’s ability to convert hormones from one form to another and this could trigger breast tissue growth.
Exercise probably isn’t going to make much difference
Although exercise can help to reduce your overall weight and body fat content, unless your gynecomastia is entirely down to excess body fat then you will still end up with male breasts. It is also impossible to perform a set of exercises that will cause a significant reduction in breast tissue in this exact area. Therefore, while you might see a small improvement in the appearance of your chest, it is unlikely to be enough to help you feel at ease with its appearance.
Gynecomastia surgery is simpler than you might expect
Surgery is the only real way to definitively get rid of excess male breast tissue. While many people are put off by the thought of undergoing surgery, you may be pleased to discover it is not nearly as invasive or painful as you might expect. Nearly all gynecomastia surgeries are carried out using liposuction applied to the chest area. This is done while you are under the effects of anesthetic, so you should not experience any pain. The cannula, which is attached to a long tube is inserted under the skin and saline is pumped in to help break up the fatty tissue. The tube is then attached to a vacuum so that the broken-down fat cells can be removed. The incisions used to insert the cannula are small and can be closed with just a couple of sutures.
You will still need to give yourself time to recover
Although gynecomastia surgery is straightforward, and the incisions used are small, you will still need to ensure that you give yourself time to recover. You will be covered with compression garments and these should be worn for the recommended time. You should also follow all post-operative instructions given to you by our surgeon.
If you would like to learn more about gynecomastia, or if you are already suffering the effects of excess male breast tissue and would like help and support, our friendly and discreet cosmetic surgery team would be happy to assist you. Please contact our offices today and find out how we can help you regain the masculine physique that you deserve.