Men are creatures of vanity too. So when their chest looks flabby due to excess fat, more often than not, they resort to the Internet for answers. But beware for the search result could be misleading, albeit unintentionally. Gynecomastia could be a potential cause but bear in mind, it is not so for all cases. Sometimes it is more likely to be “pseudogynecomastia” – a condition brought on by excess fat.
Gynecomastia is mainly caused by hormonal imbalance, which is the result of excess estrogen being produced. Changes surrounding sexual development in teenage boys and health issues such as thyroid problems common among men in their 50s and above are some of the causes of this hormonal imbalance. The side effects of some medications are also potential causes.
There are 4 grades when it comes to classifying gynecomastia. The mildest being a local swelling around the nipple area while the most severe is in the form of a rounded appearance akin to the features of a female breast.
In men, the fat tends to accumulate in the chest and abdomen areas. Fat amassed around the chest area usually results in a puffy or swollen appearance clinically known as lipomastia, adipomastia, or pseudogynecomastia.
When the body produces excess estrogen, the more the likelihood that excess fat will be stored. Fat also causes the body to produce the aromatase enzyme. This enzyme converts testosterone into estrogen and is responsible for slowing down metabolism, which slows down the body’s ability to burn fat – you will lose fat but in a lesser amount. If not addressed, this can lead to more fat being stored, causing an imbalance to the body’s hormone level.
Although it may appear like gynecomastia – pseudogynecomastia is actually the accumulation of excess breast fat. Nonetheless, the term “pseudo” should not be waved off lightly as the condition is a real problem for men.
On the surface, both conditions seem alike in terms of appearance. Gynecomastia, however, is caused by the overdevelopment of glandular tissues. Pseudogynecomastia, on the other hand, is the result of only excess fat accumulated around the chest area.
There are simple self-check methods that one can carry out. For example, if you feel the presence of a firm mound of glandular tissue around the areola area, which is painful to the touch, then chances are you might have gynecomastia. In the case of pseudogynecomastia, the entire chest area is evenly enlarged.
Commonly, an individual can have both gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia.
Treatment for pseudogynecomastia
A fat and weight loss program involving specific exercises and a change in dietary habits may help reduce or relieve pseudogynecomastia to a certain extent. However, to completely eradicate this issue is via clinically proven fat reduction procedure such as VASER Liposuction, which effectively addresses the issue and removes excess fat in the problematic area.
It is important to note that only a doctor via a clinical assessment is able to confirm the condition. Not all doctors can diagnose if a patient may or may not have gynecomastia. It is important to look for a doctor with experience in handling gynecomastia cases to identify.
As gynecomastia surgery involves liposuction and breast tissues removal, all doctors who are offering this service, including plastic surgeons alike, have to meet the stringent criteria set by the board and be accredited by the Ministry Of Health Singapore. I am one of the doctors to receive the accreditation. Do make an appointment with a qualified doctor as soon as possible.