Over 30 percent of men will experience gynecomastia, a condition resulting in enlarged breast tissue, at some point in their lives. It can happen at any age and is especially prevalent among teenagers and middle-aged men. This condition affects the self-esteem, confidence, and overall health of the individual. Contrary to popular misconception, however, gynecomastia is not always the result of poor diet and exercise.
Darn Those Hormones!
All human beings, men and women alike, have testosterone and estrogen present in their bodies. These endocrine system hormones are important to sexual development and reproduction. It isn’t until puberty that they start to balance out for the individual according to their gender. Men begin to produce greater amounts of testosterone than females, while women begin to produce greater amounts of estrogen.
Sometimes, however, there is an imbalance between these hormones. This imbalance can have a number of side effects; for men, one of those possible side effects is an increase in the amount of glandular breast tissue.
What Causes the Imbalance?
Hormone levels are affected by a number of things. It starts during puberty, when fluctuations are occurring constantly. Many teenage boys experience gynecomastia while their testosterone and estrogen levels work at leveling out. They will usually grow out of this and the enlarged tissue will disappear after a couple years.
Conditions like kidney failure, cirrhosis of the liver, hyperthyroidism, or testicular cancer can also cause hormonal imbalances. These organs are critical parts of the endocrine system and may reduce the amount of testosterone being produced in the body. Hormones can also be affected by infection, injury or trauma, low blood flow, or simple aging.
There are also several diseases or conditions that do not directly affect the hormone levels in the body, but require medications that do. Things like ACE inhibitors, diazepam, and even some antibiotics have side effects associated with gynecomastia.
Marijuana use has also been shown to develop the bulk in the male breast area.
Poor diet and exercise may also contribute to gynecomastia, but it is important to distinguish between an enlargement in the breast tissue and extra fat deposits. Sometimes both are present; sometimes it is only one or the other. It will be important to discuss your medical history with your surgeon to ensure that you are getting the proper treatment.
What Basile Plastic Surgery Can Do for You
For those men who are relatively healthy individuals, there is a surgical option through plastic surgery. Here at Basile Plastic Surgery, we offer a male breast reduction outpatient procedure to help men who want to return their bodies to a more athletic appearance.
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and takes about two hours. Dr. Basile will use liposuction to remove any extra fat deposits and then excise the extraneous breast tissue. The amount of tissue removal will be determined during your patient consultation. Recovery will take up to two weeks and you can return to normal non-atheltic daily activities after a few days. Dr. Basile will likely prescribe medications to manage the discomfort during recovery, and will also recommend that you wear a special garment to protect your body while it heals.
If you are interested in surgical treatment for gynecomastia, contact Basile Plastic Surgery to schedule your free initial consultation. Our office in Naples, FL may be reached through our Patient Contact Page. Dr. Basile is board-certified and has over twenty years of experience in plastic surgery. His commitment to natural-looking results makes him of the top plastic surgeons among his colleagues and, more importantly, his patients. Call us today to schedule an appointment!