What is Gynecomastia and what causes it?

Posted on December 4, 2017 by Cynthia M. Poulos, M.D.

Gynecomastia or ‘man boobs’ as it is commonly referred to as, is a condition that causes the male breast

 to swell and enlarge. This is quite common in adults and seniors but it is also known to manifest in teenagers as well.

You can determine if you have this condition just by checking your chest. If there is extra tissue around the nipples or your breasts look more prominent than ever or if the area is painful to the touch it might mean you have this condition. However, only an experienced plastic and cosmetic surgeon such as Dr. Poulos can determine this.

The condition can also develop in newborns followed by milk secretion but this usually happens if the infant has more estrogen than testosterone levels. This happens because female hormones pass to the infant from the mother through the placenta. This might go away in a week or two though. Adolescents usually develop them but that is mostly due to hormonal imbalances that are common at that age. If estrogen levels are high, the breasts may remain large post puberty as well but they can be reduced with surgery.

Gynecomastia is also very common in elderly men since it is at that age that testosterone levels decline making way for rising estrogen levels. Certain medical conditions can also cause it by creating a hormonal environment where it thrives. Some of these can include:

    •  Malnutrition


    • Testicular cancer


    • Chronic kidney disease or failure


    • Aging


    • Hyperthyroidism


    • Inborn disorders


  • Liver disease

Among others. Obesity can also make estrogen levels rise in the body so exercising the extra tissue away is not an option. Gynecomastia can be used to remove that excess tissue for a firmer built and a trimmer figure.

If you are healthy and do not have a serious medical history then you are a good candidate for this procedure. You should also be a non-smoker and at a steady weight. While the procedure can reduce the size of the breasts, it is important to have a positive outlook and set realistic expectations.

Dr. POulous is the owner as well as the supervisor of Classical Medical Spa and has been in the industry practicing since 1995. She has received a number of accolades for her work and skills so get an appointment today.