M Ch. Plastic Surgery, MS - General Surgery, MBBS
Myths and facts about gynecomastia
Gynecomastia or enlarged or developed breasts in men can happen to a male at any age and at any time of his life. The enlarged breasts not only affect a man's looks and self-esteem. They can also cause physical discomfort as they might be tender.
Myth: it's only caused by excess fat
Fact: one common myth about gynecomastia is that only very overweight men develop it. While there are cases where excess fat can make a man's breasts look larger, fat alone isn't the cause of the condition. Gynecomastia occurs when a male develops actual breast tissue, not just a bit of fat in the chest area.
Myth: there is no role of hormones
Fact: what's really behind gynecomastia is an imbalance of hormones. A man is more likely to develop breast tissue when the amount of testosterone in his body decreases and the amount of estrogen increases. Although associated with female characteristics, all males have a small amount of estrogen in their bodies. When estrogen levels rise, problems can develop, such as male breast tissue.
Myth: there are no external causes of male breast tissue.
Fact: alcohol consumption is often connected to gynecomastia. Certain prescription medications can also cause gynecomastia, such as medicines taken for an enlarged prostate, as well as anti-depressants, some antibiotics, and heart medications. Endocrine problems in a man can also lead to the development of breast tissue, such as an overactive thyroid or an underactive pituitary gland. Someâ herbal treatments, such as the use of lavender oil, might increase a man's chance of developing gynecomastia.
Myth: exercise can cure gynecomastia
Fact: in some cases, gynecomastia will resolve on its own, as soon as the hormonal imbalance is corrected. There's a misconception that increasing the amount you exercise or that performing exercises that focus on toning the chest will help the issue. That might be true if the enlarged breasts are due to extra fat tissue only. But, since gynecomastia is the development of breast tissue, there is no way to burn off the extra tissue.
Myth: surgery is not the solution
Fact: surgery can be a reliable treatment option for men with gynecomastia that doesn't resolve itself when a hormone imbalance is corrected or when medications related to the condition are adjusted. There are a few options for surgery, depending on the severity of the condition.
A man with limited breast tissue but a considerable amount of extra fat in the chest area will most likely benefit the most from liposuction. If there is a considerable amount of breast tissue and fat, theâ surgeon will most likely perform liposuction to remove the fat and excise, or cut away, the breast tissue, through an incision made near the armpit or nipple.
The most severe cases of gynecomastia require a more complicated surgery, which usually combines liposuction, excision of the breast tissue, and a breast lift to remove any excess, loose skin.