Many men suffer with enlarged male breasts, also known as gynecomastia or commonly called “man boobs.” This relatively common condition affecting nearly half of all men can hurt their confidence and self-esteem. But you don’t have to live with it. Read on to learn about nine things you should know about gynecomastia and what you can do to correct this condition.
- While gynecomastia affects mostly boys going through puberty and middle-age men or older, it can affect men of any age.
- Other influences and causes of gynecomastia in men include genetics, weight gain, aging, heavy alcohol use and user of certain medications such as steroids, antibiotics, anti-anxiety drugs, heartburn treatment drugs and AIDS treatment drugs.
- To reduce the risk of gynecomastia, there are a few things you can do. Don’t use drugs, especially steroids. If you do drink alcohol, do so in moderation. If you have gynecomastia or are concerned about developing it, review your medications to see if any of them are known to cause gynecomastia.
- Candidates for surgery are men who have a positive outlook, realistic expectations and are in good general health and don’t smoke. Heavy drinkers and marijuana users aren’t candidates for surgery as their condition comes from lifestyle choices.
- Your doctor will examine you and run tests to make sure you have gynecomastia and not another condition that is causing your breast swelling. Other conditions that cause breast swelling are fatty breast tissue, breast cancer and breast abscess.
- Gynecomastia may go away on its own or with changes in medication if medication is the cause. Some medications that are used to treat breast cancer may help with gynecomastia. If it doesn’t improve on its own or causes pain, tenderness or impacts your self-esteem, then surgery may be indicated.
- Breast reduction surgery is an outpatient surgery that generally lasts around an hour.
- Incisions are made around the areolae of the breasts or in the armpits, which results in hidden scars.
- Excess glandular tissue, fat and skin are cut out during surgery. Liposuction may be used if there is an abundance of fat to remove.