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Gynecomastia - Treating It With Surgery!

Reviewed by
Dr. Shilpi Bhadani 89% (99 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, M.Ch - Plastic Surgery, Fellowship In Aesthetic Surgery, MRCS
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Gurgaon  •  14 years experience
Gynecomastia - Treating It With Surgery!

Swollen breast tissues in men or boys caused by hormonal imbalances is called gynecomastia. Both breasts or one breast, can be affected by this. At any point in life, from birth to puberty, even in adulthood, one might develop gynecomastia. Most of the times, gynecomastia is caused by hormonal imbalance, but there might be some underlying causes as well. 

Gynecomastia is normally not a serious condition, but it can be difficult to deal with the pain and embarrassment. One may be advised to wait and watch for the regression the gynecomastia but surgery is often necessary to get rid of this condition. 

Symptoms and signs of gynecomastia include: 

  1. Enlarged glands in the breast tissue 
  2. Tenderness in the breast 

The causes that trigger gynecomastia include: 

  1. Hormonal changes: Testosterone and estrogen control the sexual development in men and women respectively. Estrogen is not a hormone that only women produce; men produce it too. When the production of testosterone and estrogen are thrown out of balance, gynecomastia occurs.
  2. Medication: Certain medications such as anabolic steroids, androgens, HIV/AIDS medicines, antibiotics and chemotherapy can cause gynecomastia.
  3. Drugs and alcohol: Substances such as alcohol, marijuana, amphetamines, heroin and methadone cause gynecomastia. 
  4. Health condition: Certain factors, such as aging, hypogonadism (hormonal disorder), hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland), tumors, kidney failure, cirrhosis, liver failure, malnutrition and starvation can lead to gynecomastia. 
  5. Herbal products: Essential oils derived from plants such as lavender or tea tree, used in lotions or shampoos, have weak estrogenic actives. In exceptional circumstances, they may cause gynecomastia. 

There is no definitive medical treatment. The main answer for Gynecomastia is -SURGERY. It is a daycare procedure in most situations. It is done by a Surgeon, usually, a Plastic surgeon does a better job. 

Anesthesia- Either Local or General anesthesia is given to make it painless. My preferred anesthesia is general anesthesia because it makes the person very comfortable during the surgery. It can also be done under intravenous sedation combined with Local anesthesia. 

Procedure- Through a small incision in the area around the breasts the swelling is removed by both Liposuction of the Fat part and Excision (removal) for Breast gland part. As the incision is through the areola and a small incision in the surrounding skin, the final scar is hardly visible. In post bariatric or massive weight loss patients, skin also needs to be removed, where in a scar around the areola border is visible. 

Recovery- Usually can go back to work in 2-3 days time.

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