Gynecomastia: definition and advice

Gynecomastia: definition and advice

The gynecomastia cure is an increasingly practiced plastic surgery operation. It consists in correcting the hypertrophy of the chest in humans by means of liposuction. How do I know if I am subject to gynecomastia? What are the symptoms? The causes? Is surgery always suitable?

What is gynecomastia?

We speak of gynecomastia when the mammary glands are enlarged in men. This defect gives the appearance of a female chest and can be very disabling for the man.

Gynecomastia most often appears in adolescence but disappears after this period rich in hormonal growth. When this is not the case, a hormonal disorder is often involved (decrease in testosterone or increase in estrogen)

Gynecomastia can appear on a single breast (we speak of unilateral gynecomastia) or on both (bilateral gynecomastia). Despite appearances, the first type of gynecomastia is very common; more than 50% of men suffering from gynecomastia.

Unilateral gynecomastia can either be linked to cancer or to a hormonal abnormality (abnormality of prolactin secretion or ostrogenic secretion of a testicular tumor). Some types of medicines may also be the cause (diltiazem, ciclosporine or pregabalin for example). Sometimes unilateral gynecomastia can initiate bilateral gynecomastia.

The latter can also find its source in a hormonal disorder or some excipients of drugs. Note that bilateral gynecomastia does not necessarily rhyme with symmetry; it happens that the man’s breasts have neither the same size, nor the same shape.


How to detect gynecomastia? What are the causes?

To see if you are prone to gynecomastia, the doctor will examine you lying down with your hands behind the neck. He will try to verify the existence of a protruding mass around the nipple. It won’t hurt you, don’t worry.

In order to really detect gynecomastia, it is also important to examine the testicles, if they are atrophied (case of hypogonadism) or protuberant (presence of a tumor). Gynecomastia may also be due to liver or thyroid disease so it should be examined to rule out any possibility.

After these steps, a hormonal assessment and then a mammogram are performed.

These final reviews of the process are crucial to rule out (or deny) any possible endocrine disorders, or other.


The letter carriers

As detailed previously, the causes likely to cause gynecomastia are numerous.

Gynecomastia may be due to hormonal disruption (hypogonadism or hyperprolactinemia)

It can also be linked to a regular intake of drugs whose excipients act on the mammary glands, note for example drugs such as certain antibiotics (Metronidazole, Ethionamide, Isoniazide, etc.) or psychotropic or psychotropic (tricyclic antidepressants, Phenothiazines, Diazepam, Haloperidol). Note that this may be the case for some anti-androgens, anti-HIV treatments or antihypertensives

Moreover other treatments can cause gynecomastia in men. This is the case of growth hormones, steroids, estrogens or androgens.

Hormonal dysfunctions leading to breast growth in humans may also be related to hepatic cirrhosis or hyperthyroidism

As a reminder, some forms of cancer are also involved: cancer of the testicles, kidney, stomach, lung or liver, for example.

Finally, certain substances harmful to the body can cause breast enlargement in humans; methadone, cannabis, alcohol, heroin or amphetamines, among others.


The diseases involved

Some diseases may prove to be a factor leading to gynecomastia; kidney disease, liver, thyroid or some hormonal deficiencies.

Also, some rare syndromes (such as Klinefelter syndrome or Addison’s disease, acromegaly are to be pointed out.

What about nature?

Yes, sometimes the only one to blame is our dear Mother Nature! For example, infants are very often born with mild gynecomastia (due to increased estrogen produced by the placenta).

Hormonal variations in adolescence sometimes lead to mild gynecomastia as well.

Middle-aged men are no exception; half of men over the age of 50 report being prone to breast enlargement, and of course this figure increases with the years.

Naturally, weight gain remains the main factor driving gynecomastia. This type of gynecomastia is said to be «essential».

Watch out for these gentlemen addicted to the gym: strength training is not trivial! It can sometimes exaggerate the hypertrophy of the man’s breasts, especially when he tries to multiply exercises aimed at muscling the pectorals.


How to overcome gynecomastia

First and logically, it is necessary to tackle the cause: try to find an alternative treatment to the drug(s) causing it or instead adopt a hormonal treatment in case of disorder or disorder, or, of course, stop taking too much alcohol or illegal substances.

If all arrangements to treat gynecomastia are made but it persists, surgery may be considered.

This procedure takes place under general anaesthesia, often on an outpatient basis.

The surgeon will perform the total removal of excess tissue, either excess fat, gland or even skin if necessary (in case of significant hypertrophy, or non-aggressive skin)

The surgeon will also perform liposuction of the fatty tissues.

The scar is discreet. It is most often peri-areolar, but can sometimes be prolonged, especially when the skin is removed in quantity. So it can also go under the breast, towards the armpits or the sternum.


Is the procedure painful?

Rest assured, the operation is generally painless, especially thanks to the painkillers that will be prescribed to you afterwards.

However, as a precaution, we advise you to allow a work stoppage of a few weeks for the post-operative period.

Healing is a delicate period, it is necessary to avoid physical exertion, brutal movements or strain the pectorals in any way.

It is commonly accepted that the resumption of sports activities must take place after 2 months.

To relieve post-operative pain, ensure proper maintenance and promote tissue reconstruction it is recommended to wear a compression vest after surgery. It is worn day and night (so predicting is very useful) for nearly 3 months.

The quality of this garment is not to be neglected; not only will it guarantee the good result of the operation, but it will relieve pain after operation.

Gynecomastia being considered a real disease, its intervention is partly covered by the Primary Health Insurance Fund. However, we invite you to provide for certain fee overruns and associated costs.

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