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Gynaecomastia (Enlarged Breasts In Men): Causes and Treatments

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Sreelatha Murugappan 89% (400ratings)
MBBS, M.Med.Sci Cosmetology, Ph.D Cosmetology(prel)
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Chennai  •  27years experience
Gynaecomastia (Enlarged Breasts In Men): Causes and Treatments


The common male problem in an Aesthetic clinic, Gyanecomastia, is truly Pseudogynaecomastia with only fatty tissue and minimal glandular tissue. The condition is a part of the co existing Obesity disorder and is rarely, a standalone entity. The treatment options shall include an approach to answer the issue of obesity as a whole, not rest contented with surgical removal of the enlarged breasts alone. What is seen and what is treated is just a tip of the iceberg.

Gynaecomastia, an innocuous condition, that affects 35-70% of male population immediately after birth, during adolescence and old age is rarely brought to notice as the sufferer makes all attempts to hide it as the condition brings with it a sense of shame and pain in public places and mental suffering. Herein starts the search for the treatment. Medical and multifaceted surgical options evolved over centuries with the current opinion being fat removal by anyone form of liposuction and the gland removal by direct excision. Gynaecomastia, is increased breast tissue in males composed of glandular and fatty tissue.

Physiological gynaecomastia of puberty that normally regresses with age tend to stay back being sustained by the modern lifestyle changes. Processed foods and environmental pollution of air and water, the cosmetics used on the body like deo odorants, perfumes and toiletries, synthetics and chemicals have contributed to explosions of generalised obesity. With this generalised obesity, the tendency to hold back excess fat in the breast developed. This clearly shows the reason for higher incidence of (pseudo) Gynaecomastia of late. Hormonal imbalance due to reasons stated above, aggravate the situation. Gynaecomastia is part of the generalised obesity and it is more fat and little gland.

However, this condition does not have any harmful effect on the body, but it can cause distress emotionally. Men may lose their self-confidence and they can be psychologically affected by this.

What Causes Gynaecomastia?

It is a type of hormonal imbalance that results in the growth of the male breast tissues. The ratio of oestrogen v/s androgens gets altered and causes the enlargement of the breasts. For this condition to occur, the amount of oestrogen increase in the body, or the amount of testosterone drops. Sometimes it can be the combination of both.

There are certain diseases that may contribute to gynaecomastia and they are as follows:

  1. Kidney diseases

  2. Liver disease

  3. Drop in testosterone levels

  4. Certain medications such as methadone, medications for HIV or treating prostate cancer

  5. Certain tumours caused in male sex organs such as cancer of the Leydig cells or the Sertoli cells resulting in deprivation of androgen levels

True Gynaecomastia that requires surgical treatment is not so uncommon. What is commonly believed to be gynaecomastia is truly Pseudo gynaecomastia with a co exiting clinical picture of obesity, high BMI, sedentary life and wrong lifestyle. Surgical treatment by laser liposuction under Tumescent Anaesthesia gives very good results with high patient satisfaction and negligible post operative complications. Gland fragmented with laser can be extricated thro’ same entry point without sub areolar incision. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a cosmetic-plastic-surgeon.

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