Breast Reduction Surgery is Not Uncommon for Men
“Man boobs.” Comedians make jokes about them; but if you’re one of the millions of men who suffer from the medical condition “gynecomastia,” or enlarged male breasts, it’s no laughing matter. Far more common than most people think, gynecomastia is usually caused by a hormonal imbalance, although heredity, weight fluctuations, and medications can also trigger the development of excess glandular tissue in one or both breasts.
Gynecomastia occurs when a man’s hormones get out of balance and testosterone levels decrease in relation to estrogen levels. We usually associate hormonal imbalances with women, but they are just as common in men. Normal fluctuations in male hormones occur during infancy, adolescence, middle age and late in life. When male hormones get out of kilter, the hormonal imbalance can result in the development of tissue in the breast area.
Although it is usually attributed to the “chubby baby” look, most male infants exhibit some gynecomastia which most outgrow. During puberty, an estimated 70% of teenage boys experience signs of gynecomastia – swollen breasts and/or tender nipples – with the majority of cases resolving themselves within 2 years. Gynecomastia can strike again when hormone production begins to slow as men enter middle age and is frequent among elderly men, affecting 65% of men over 40. Medications taken for common chronic illnesses associated with aging, including high blood pressure, heart conditions, heartburn and stomach ulcers, can exacerbate the condition. Gynecomastia that develops during adulthood rarely resolves itself but can be addressed with breast reduction surgery.