The term gynecomastia refers to larger-than-normal breasts in men and boys as caused by swollen breast tissues. This swelling is due to an imbalance of testosterone and estrogen hormones in the male.
Other potential causes for the enlargement of breasts in men include pseudogynecomastia, hypogonadism, cirrhosis, infection, and breast cancer. To determine the cause, the doctor may order blood tests and likely a mammogram. Your doctor will also perform a physical exam, including a careful evaluation of the breast tissue, abdomen, and genitals.
Depending on what the doctor learns from the exam and the tests, they may also order further tests. This phase may include a CT scan, MRI, testicular ultrasounds, or a tissue biopsy in order to rule out other potential causes.
The doctor will also be able to tell you whether it is advisable to have male breast reduction surgery to reduce the muscle and/or fat in the breast area. If the cause may be an infection or cancer, the physician will likely advise you to wait for a firm diagnosis before taking any surgical action.
What Causes Enlarged Breasts in Men?
Normally, cases of gynecomastia reverse themselves over time without treatment. When the male hormone testosterone increases and the female hormone estrogen decreases, the balance should cause a natural reduction of the man’s breasts back to a normal size.
Some males, especially adolescents, carry extra weight in their chest that resembles gynecomastia. Certain medications can actually cause enlargement of the male breasts; if the doctor finds that this is the cause, they may try switching the medication so the treatment does not cause the undesired enlargement of a man’s breasts.
Medicines that can contribute to gynecomastia include:
- Anti-androgens (for prostate issues)
- Anabolic steroids
- Certain medications to treat HIV/AIDS
- Anti-anxiety medications
- Ulcer medications
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Heart medications
Breast Reduction Treatments for Men
Certain drugs that are designed to treat breast cancer have shown promise in treating men with gynecomastia. If these don’t help to reduce a man’s breast size, there are surgical measures available – such as liposuction of the fat in the breast.
Liposuction will remove the fatty deposits in a man’s breast, but the breast gland will not be touched at all. If your doctor believes it to be necessary, they may also remove excess skin and fat in the breasts.
Your doctor may recommend reducing your consumption of alcohol or eliminating your use of drugs such as marijuana and heroin. All of these substances have been linked to increased breast growth in men.
Male Breast Reduction Surgeon in New Jersey
Gynecomastia and enlarged breasts in a man or a boy can be humiliating. If you have tried changing medications, working out, and dieting, but nothing helps to reduce your breast size, contact the team of Dr. Louis Iorio at Iorio Plastic Surgery & Medspa.
Call us today at our Colts Neck location at 732-780-9191 or our Brick, NJ office at 732-458-7400, or request an appointment online. Find out about the treatments and surgical options that are available to help make you look and feel like a man again.