The word “gynecomastia” comes from the Greek words for “female breast” and describes abnormal breast development in a boy or man. It is typically caused by a hormonal imbalance. Gynecomastia can be distressing among men who get it, but there are options available to effectively treat the condition.
Who Gets It?
Gynecomastia can occur in any male undergoing hormonal changes. It has even sometimes been seen in newborns due to exposure to their mother’s estrogen. Baby boys are sometimes born with breast buds that typically go away within around six months. Boys undergoing puberty also sometimes develop the condition. Again, hormonal changes and imbalances are responsible, and the breasts usually return to normal within 6 to 24 months.
While gynecomastia can result from hormonal imbalances in adult men, it can also indicate a health problem like cirrhosis of the liver or an overactive thyroid. Gynecomastia can develop alongside some cancers, including liver, lung, testicle, pituitary, or adrenal gland. Regular use of drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, heroin, or methamphetamine can also cause the condition to develop. Many medications can also lead to excess breast tissue in men, including the following:
• Chemotherapy drugs • Steroids • Certain heart medications • Epilepsy medications • Antidepressants • Antianxiety drugs
How Is It Treated?
Treatment for gynecomastia varies and depends on the cause. Our doctor may begin with medications such as tamoxifen and raloxifene. In resistant cases, though, the patient may also require surgery.
Our surgeons can surgically treat gynecomastia with two different methods: liposuction and mastectomy. Liposuction will effectively remove excess fat from the area, while mastectomy removes the breast tissue. The type of surgery that will work best for you will depend on your situation, so we will help you decide during your consultation.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Treatment?
The ideal candidate for surgical treatment will be an adult in good overall health and with realistic expectations. If the patient’s gynecomastia is caused by a medical condition, that condition needs to be under control. The patient should also be at a healthy weight and have good skin elasticity.
Contact Us Today
If you have a case of gynecomastia that has not responded to other forms of treatment, please contact Colen MD Plastic Surgery. We have offices in Bergen County and Manhattan/NYC. Our experienced surgeons are ready to help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!