Gynaecomastia is a condition in which a boy’s or man’s breast, or breasts, becomes enlarged. It can be caused by a hormonal imbalance involving too little testosterone or too much estrogen.
The condition can occur in males of all ages. It is generally harmless, if embarrassing, in babies, young boys and adolescents.
In a man, however, gynaecomastia can often be caused by another condition, and that condition can sometimes be quite serious.
What Are the Symptoms?
The main symptom of gynaecomastia is the enlargement of the male breasts. Some boys or men may notice that their breasts also feel rubbery or firm. One or both breasts may be affected.
What Causes Gynaecomastia?
The answer varies depending on the patient’s age. Newborn baby boys sometimes have gynaecomastia because they could have been exposed to their mother’s estrogen.
The hormonal changes that accompany puberty can also cause the condition.
In adult men, however, the causes can sometimes be less benign. It can occur with some cancers, including lung, liver or testicular cancer. It can also be caused by cirrhosis or an overactive thyroid gland. Some controlled substances and a number of medications can also cause gynaecomastia.
Aging, however, is accompanied by certain characteristic hormonal changes, and these can sometimes cause the condition, especially in a man who is over 50 years old.
Over 25 percent of older men develop the condition, and they could develop the condition if they are also overweight.
When to Go to a Doctor?
A patient with gynaecomastia can consult a doctor if their breasts are painful, tender or produce a discharge. They can also call a doctor if the breasts are swollen or if one is markedly bigger than the other.
How is Gynaecomastia Treated?
The treatment options vary depending on the cause. If the patient’s gynaecomastia is caused by another condition, it may be recommended to have that condition treated before addressing the condition.
If the gynaecomastia is caused by medication, the doctor can help the patient find a substitute. In some cases, the patient could want surgery to reduce the size of the breasts.
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If you or someone you know suffers from gynaecomastia and is considering surgery, Real Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery is here to help.