In Gynecomastia one or both of the male mammary glands are enlarged, which leads to a more feminine appearance of the patient’s breast. Since this does not conform to society’s ideal image of a man, the breast’s appearance can cause emotional and psychological distress to those affected.
Gynecomastia is characterized by an increased size of the mammary gland. It is not to be confused with Lipomastia (Pseudogynecomastia), a condition usually associated with obesity where fat deposits result in larger breast. However, in both cases the man’s breast looks practically identical.
Symptoms and Causes of Gynecomastia
The main symptom of gynecomastia is an enlarged breast that can cause a feeling of tension in this body region. In some cases affected men report an increased sensitivity of their nipples.
Gynecomastia is not a disease on its own. It simply refers to the symptom of the enlarged mammary gland, which in most cases is not related to a serious illness. Nevertheless, during the diagnosis it is important to exclude the risk of breast cancer through various measures. This is especially necessary if only one of the breasts is affected.
Due to an unbalanced ratio between male and female sexual hormones the growth of the mammary gland is stimulated. The causes for hormonal imbalances can vary; possible causes could be the intake of certain medications, abuse of alcohol, a malfunction of the testes resulting in hormonal problems, or hereditary genetic defects. The actual cause of the condition has to be determined in order to allow for an adequate treatment.
Treatment of Gynecomastia
From a medical point of view treatment of gynecomastia is not always necessary. Depending on what triggers the condition sometimes stopping the intake of medication causing the breast enlargement is sufficient to reverse the changes of the body.
If the condition is caused by hormonal imbalances a healthy and stable hormonal balance can be achieved by administering bioidentical hormones. The advantage in using bioidentical hormones is that their chemical structure is the same as those of our own hormones. Thus there are hardly any side effects associated with this kind of treatment.
In case the enlargement of the breast is strongly pronounced or in an attempt to treat the aesthetic and psychological problems the surgical removal of the excess breast tissue could be considered. However, this type of treatment will only affect the symptoms but not the root cause of the problem. A combination of multiple treatment methods can be useful.
Treatment of Lipomastia with Liposuction
In case of lipomastia (fat deposits), for example caused by obesity, very good results can be achieved by liposuction in the breast area. By using fine microcannulas the breasts can be shaped precisely. Additionally, this procedure is gentle to the body since it is performed on an outpatient basis and under local anesthesia. After the treatment a bandage is applied that is left on for some days. The result can be seen immediately and aftercare is simple.