Gynecomastia Diagnosis

Gynecomastia is often referred to as man boobs, this embarrassing term describes the enlargement of the male chest due to excess growth of breast tissues. This is a common condition that effects a large percentage of adolescent and adult males and can be treated with diet, exercise and surgery.

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Though enlarged breasts do not typically cause any medical issues, large boobs on men tends to be quite embarrassing. Since not all man boobs are categorized as gynecomastia, it’s important to see a specialist for a thorough and accurate physical examination. If you believe you are afflicted with gynecomastia, you should visit a gynecomastia surgeon for an official diagnosis and treatment options.

How Gynecomastia is Diagnosed

Testing for gynecomastia can be performed by your family doctor, but is best left to the gynecomastia experts for optimal results.

The diagnosis process starts with providing the gynecomastia surgeon with a medical history and undergoing a detailed physical examination. The practitioner may ask whether you experience symptoms in both breasts, how long you’ve noticed signs of man boobs, and what medications you take, while establishing a full report on your concerns.

Physical Exam

In many circumstances, Gynecomastia can be diagnosed during a physical examination. During the exam, you will lie flat with your hands supporting your head. The surgeon uses their thumb and forefinger to probe breast tissue, looking for a specific feature found in males with gynecomastia. If you truly suffer from man boobs, the gynecomastia surgeon will find a rubbery mound of tissue by the nipple. For patients who are afflicted with pseudogynecomastia, there is no discovery of hard tissue.

During the examination, your doctor may check the following areas:

  • Abdominal region
  • Genitalia
  • Breast tissue
  • Neck for indication of goitre (hypothyroidism)
  • Your overall well-being


Once gynecomastia is noticed, individuals should be evaluated quickly to dismiss the chance of cancer and other underlying medical conditions. Though 99.9 percent of gynecomastia cases are cancer free, certain cases are cause for concern. If your physician suspects cancer, they will order a mammogram for more thorough results.

If tumors are thought to be the cause of your gynecomastia, additional test such as chest X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography(CT) scans may be ordered. This testing will determine if your condition is related to cancer or other medical concerns.

Blood Testing

In certain cases, the practitioner may order additional blood testing to determine liver, kidney and thyroid function. Additional testing helps pin-point the source and cause of enlarged breast tissue, for the most accurate treatment solution.

Treatment Options with the Best Gynecomastia Surgeon

Once you’ve truly been diagnosed with Gynecomastia (breast tissue) and not lipomastia (chest fat), the next step is finding treatment for your moobs. The most significant and permanent way to get rid of male breasts is gynecomastia surgery. A gynecomastia surgeon will eliminate enlarged breast tissue, tighten skin and re-contour your chest area for a more masculine appearance. Searching for a Board-Certified Gynecomastia Surgeon can change your life.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know what stage of gynecomastia you have?

If you are unsure which stage of gynecomastia you have, your doctor can perform an exam to determine the stage. There are four stages of gynecomastia severity.

How do you know if you have severe gynecomastia?

Signs of severe gynecomastia include breast swelling, pain or tenderness, or nipple discharge in one or both breasts.

How fast does gynecomastia progress?

Most cases of gynecomastia occur during puberty and may develop between the ages of 10 and 14 years. However, it can also develop in older males at different rates, depending on the cause.

Is it necessary to remove gynecomastia?

If your gynecomastia is not bothersome, it is unnecessary to undergo surgery. However, treatment may be necessary when gynecomastia doesn’t improve and causes pain or embarrassment.

Can gynecomastia be cancerous?

Having gynecomastia does not put you at a significantly higher risk for developing breast cancer.

Can gynecomastia be life-threatening?

No, gynecomastia is not a life-threatening condition. However, it can cause significant emotional distress in those living with it.

When should I be concerned about gynecomastia?

If gynecomastia is causing pain or discomfort in your breasts, or if you are feeling embarrassed about your condition, it may be time to consider treatment.

What drugs cause gynecomastia?

There is an array of different drugs that may cause gynecomastia, including antibiotics, growth hormones, chemotherapy, and anabolic steroids. Those who abuse alcohol and marijuana may also see gynecomastia develop.

How do you assess gynecomastia?

When evaluating gynecomastia, your doctor will speak with you regarding your medical history, perform a clinic exam, and may also recommend blood tests.