The primary symptom of gynecomastia is the development of a “female-like breast” on a man.
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Gynecomastia, or “man-boobs,” is an enlargement of breast tissue in males. It results from low levels of testosterone compared to levels of the female hormone, estrogen. Gynecomastia may affect both breasts or, at times, only one. When only one breast is enlarged, it is usually on the left side. Gynecomastia is more likely to affect males at three times during their lives:
1. The male infant is born with gynecomastia due to the effects of the mother’s estrogen. The enlarged breasts usually resolve within three weeks after birth.
2. Puberty is a time when male characteristics develop, and gynecomastia develops in the majority of boys during this period. The breast enlargement usually resolves entirely within two years.
3. Twenty-five percent of men over 60 years old develop gynecomastia. Testosterone levels typically begin to fall, causing “low-T,” and weight accumulates. The low-T causes breast development, and the weight gain increases breast volume. These changes result in an enlarged chest.
Symptoms of Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia symptoms include:
- The primary symptom of gynecomastia is an increase in breast size. Male breast enlargement can occur in one or both breasts, and the size can be symmetrical or asymmetrical from side to side. The tissue may feel firm or rubbery, and the growth is just below the nipple.
- The breasts may be tender or painful (consistently or intermittently) when touched.
- In young boys going through puberty, a breast bud or disc may be felt under the nipple. This breast bud usually resolves within two years.
- On rare occasions, male breast cancer may develop. Malignant breast masses usually occur in older men and often only on one side. Symptoms may include skin puckering, a mass of tissue, nipple discharge, contraction of the nipple, or noticeable lymph nodes under the arms.
- Another cause of breast swelling can be an infection or a breast abscess. Infection is rare and is associated with pain, swelling, skin color changes, and fever.
Male breast reduction surgery is a proven treatment for men struggling with gynecomastia. Breast gland excision with liposuction is the best solution for this condition. Before the surgery, your doctor will determine the cause of your breast enlargement and guide you through the best treatment plan.
Choosing Your Surgeon
If you are experiencing symptoms that might be signs of gynecomastia, do not hesitate to contact a physician for an evaluation. If you are looking for a gynecomastia specialist, this website is a reliable source of information as you navigate your options.
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The content on Gynecomastia.org is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice. It does not replace the need to meet with a physician who will accurately diagnose your condition and suggest treatment options.