Breast tissue is so closely linked to a feminine shape that men are often embarrassed if they develop fatty tissue around their chest. This condition, called gynecomastia, can occur for a variety of reasons, but treatments are available to help men re-attain a flatter chest. Dr. Arie Benchetrit, a top-rated plastic surgeon in Montreal, shares what men with gynecomastia should know.
Causes of Gynecomastia
Although having extra fat around the chest can be mistaken for gynecomastia, it is not the same thing. However, being obese can change a man’s hormone levels and stimulate more estrogen production, which enlarges the breast tissue. Men with true gynecomastia often discover that their chest remains large even as they lose weight in other areas.
During puberty, a teenager’s hormones fluctuate wildly. Drops in testosterone can mean more estrogen production, which can increase the size of the breast. Fortunately for these teenage boys, most see their gynecomastia go away once their hormone levels re-steady. However, in about 20% of boys, the extra breast tissue persists and will not go away on its own. This is true gynecomastia.
The older a man gets, the less testosterone his body produces naturally. This allows estrogen to become a more influential hormone, which can cause the breast tissue to expand.
Drugs and Alcohol
Research has found that several substances that are used recreationally, including alcohol, marijuana, meth, and heroin, can contribute to gynecomastia. While most men are not susceptible to this side effect, those that do develop the condition would be smart to either moderate or abstain to help their gynecomastia go away. Anabolic steroids, i.e. testosterone and its derivatives often used by body-builders, are also a common cause of gynecomastia.
Certain medications can also interfere with a man’s hormones, such as:
- Heart medication
- Prostate cancer drugs
- HIV medication
Given how critical these drugs are to the health of the patient, discontinuing the drug is not always an option.
The best treatment for gynecomastia depends on the cause of the condition, which is why a proper diagnosis is necessary. Identifying the root cause for some men may be enough to address this problem without the need for surgery. However, for patients who continue to have enlarged male breast tissue in the long term, plastic surgery is the most effective solution.
Dr. Benchetrit performs male breast reduction surgery on many patients whose gynecomastia has persisted for several months or years. Techniques for this procedure include liposuction, removing excess glandular tissue, or a combination of both. In the most severe cases, removing excess skin is also necessary.
Reshape Your Upper Physique
Dr. Benchetrit is a board-certified plastic surgeon who has helped many men with enlarged breasts to achieve more masculine contours. To find out whether your physique can be improved with surgery, please schedule a consultation by calling 514-613-4634.