How Does Gynecomastia Affect Boys and Men at Different Ages?
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There are many causes for gynecomastia, or enlarged, excess breast tissue in men. Gynecomastia affects both adolescent and adult men, but causes, symptoms, and treatment for these patients can be different. Here are some of the differences between teenage or adult gynecomastia and what patients can do about it.
In adolescents, gynecomastia is usually caused by exposure to excess estrogen and estrogen like compounds within the body during puberty. As boys enter puberty, the body makes a new form of testosterone in greater quantities. Testosterone is similar to estrogen chemically and the metabolites of testosterone are even more like estrogen. Estrogen induces growth of breast tissue in men and women, whereas androgens like testosterone inhibit breast growth. Gynecomastia during puberty is relatively normal, and doesn’t always require treatment. In most adolescents, the condition resolves spontaneously within 1-2 years. As many as 90% of teenage boys may temporarily experience gynecomastia. Usually, the chest contour returns to a flat and masculine appearance when teenage boys enter their 20s. If this is not the case, treatment may be necessary. Once the excess breast tissue has been there more than two years, it usually will not resolve without surgery, even if an underlying medical cause is found and treated appropriately.
In men, there are a wide variety of causes for gynecomastia. These range from hormonal imbalance to side effects from drugs. Gynecomastia is even more common in adult men than teenage boys. Up to 65% of men between the ages of 27 and 92 experience gynecomastia at some point in their life. For some men, treating the cause of their gynecomastia or losing weight ( in the case of pseudogynecomastia = excess fat tissue in the breast area) can resolve their symptoms. For others, surgery is necessary to restore a masculine chest contour.
Gynecomastia surgery is among the most effective and permanent treatment options for men facing enlarged breast tissue. Gynecomastia surgery is performed by a plastic surgeon who is trained in creating a masculine chest contour such as Dr. Angelchik. This procedure is also known as a male breast reduction.
Male breast reduction involves removing excess fat and breast tissue to create a flat and masculine-looking chest. This both restores the man’s appearance and, often, improves his confidence. Most men who suffer from gynecomastia make good candidates for the surgery as long as they are generally healthy overall. By following a healthy diet and lifestyle, men can ensure that their gynecomastia surgery results are permanent.
The first step in the gynecomastia surgery journey is to schedule a consultation. During your consultation with Dr. Angelchik, he will evaluate your health and determine whether you are a good candidate for the procedure. You can also ask any questions that you have about the procedure or recovery process.
Before your surgery, you may be required to have medical evaluations and lab testing performed. You should also avoid smoking or taking drugs which can cause bleeding such as aspirin before your procedure. Finally, prepare for your recovery period by arranging for someone to drive you home and care for you after surgery.
To learn more about gynecomastia surgery and find out if you’re a good candidate for the procedure, schedule a consultation with Dr. Angelchik. Call our office at (602) 428-9210 or request an appointment through our online form.