Treating Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia—persistent breast enlargement in males—can have profound emotional health impacts, especially for adolescent boys. Although gynecomastia isn’t generally a serious medical issue, it can have significant effects on self-esteem and emotional health. The good news for those living with gynecomastia in Manhattan is that help is available. With the right treatment, symptoms can be permanently resolved so patients can achieve a better quality of life.

Understanding Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia causes swollen breast tissue and breast tenderness and is triggered when testosterone levels fall in relation to estrogen. There are several things that can cause this hormone imbalance, including certain medications, street drugs, and medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism, kidney failure, malnutrition, and tumors. Any condition that interferes with the pituitary gland can cause gynecomastia, as can aging. Men who are overweight are more likely to suffer from this kind of hormone imbalance. Gynecomastia can happen at any age, including infancy, but it is most common during puberty and again between the ages of 50 and 80.

Finding the Right Treatment

In some cases, treating gynecomastia involves simply addressing the underlying condition. Treating thyroid disease or malnutrition, for instance, may cause the gynecomastia to resolve on its own. In other cases, using medications designed to treat breast cancer, such as tamoxifen, can help. That is because these medicines suppress estrogen production. For men with severe gynecomastia that doesn’t respond to non-invasive treatments, gynecomastia surgery could be the solution. Both liposuction and mastectomy are effective for gynecomastia patients. During liposuction, a plastic surgeon will remove excess fat in the breast area while leaving the breast gland tissue in tact. A mastectomy involves the removal of the breast gland tissue itself. Both procedures achieve the same results, and the right one for you depends on several factors, including the severity of your condition and your overall health. Meeting with a plastic surgeon will allow you to learn more about your condition and start determining the most appropriate treatment option.