The term breast tissue is one that we tend to think of only with the female form. Yet, both men and women have tissue in this area, and it is not just women can can see an increase or decrease. The phrase “man boobs” is a derisory term for a condition that it medically known as gynecomastia. Simply put, this means an increase in male breast tissue that enlarges the area. For many it is embarrassing and unsightly, which is why it is important to know the causes, related risks and solutions to the problem.

Gynecomastia symptoms.

There are clear physical signs that a male patient is dealing with gynecomastia. The most obvious is the enlargement of the breast area with breast tissue. There is a difference between the tissue and pectoral muscle, which also forms in this area. These new breasts are softer and feel like that of a woman. Adolescent males may also notice that these nipples have increase in size around the areola. This should be the worst of the symptoms. Those experiencing pain or discharge from the nipples should seek medical help for a further diagnosis.

Gynecomastia causes.

The first thing to note here is that this build of tissue is non-cancerous. Adolescents experiencing a change in their physical appearance and tissue development do not have to worry. The cause as all down to hormones and the endocrine system. For some, the gynecomastia condition is just temporary as the body adjusts to the major hormone changes that come with puberty. There is a shift in estrogen production, which triggers this typically female-oriented development. For others, it can be more long term, suggesting deeper issues with the endocrine system and related complaints. There are links between gynecomastia and testosterone reduction, as well as kidney and liver disease. In the worst cases it is sometimes a symptom of testicular cancer.

Treatment options for gynecomastia.

For those with temporary, adolescent gynecomastia, there is a good chance that the condition will resolve itself with a year or so. This can often be easily achieved without the need for medical intervention. Instead patients simply need to wait out the hormonal roller-coaster of puberty. Those with a more permanent condition may find that typical gynecomastia medication does not work. This include aromatase inhibitors that have the potential to reduce the effects. Furthermore, Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators are not approved by the FDA. The best option for people in this situation is gynecomastia surgery. There are different approaches here. Some cases will see subcutaneous mastecomy, where areas of tissue are surgically removed. Others will use forms of liposuction as a less invasive means of reducing the area.

What can patients expect after gynecomastia surgery?

For many adult males dealing with chronic gynecomastia, this surgery could be the last thing they deal with. The dramatic physical change can be life-altering. This is especially true for those dealing with mental health issues related to the condition. Also, while there is the chance of scaring, some unevenness in the shape of the chest area and short-term pain, many feel it is worth the risk.