Gynecomastia is a term used in reference to a condition whereby the breast tissues in boys and men are overdevelopment or enlarged. The swelled breast tissue is attributed to hormonal imbalance and in particular, the hormones testosterone and estrogen. The conditions may also be characterized by uneven growth of breasts. It affects one breast or both of your breasts. Gynecomastia can result in nipple tenderness and is often the source of discomfort. Gynecomastia is usually clear without the need for any form of treatment. However, if the condition is persistent or severe, it may be necessary to get medical attention. Other men elect to have a surgical procedure to overcome the embarrassment associated with enlarged breasts.
In case gynecomastia has been triggered by an underlying condition, treatment of that condition often leads to an improvement on gynecomastia too. Gynecomastia is very common in boys who are in the puberty phase. However, the conditions can also affect middle-aged and older men.
One of the defining symptoms of gynecomastia is a fatty tissue lump that forms beneath the nipple. The lump may get sore and tender. If your doctor suspects you have gynecomastia, he or she may order a biopsy, CT scans, or mammogram, among other tests. The kind of treatment that is prescribed for gynecomastia is determined by your overall health and age.
Causes of gynecomastia
Gynecomastia can be caused by the following:
An imbalance in sex hormones
While sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen are associated with being male and female, respectively, both sexes also produce the two hormones, albeit in minimal quantities. In this case, males produce testosterone as the predominant hormone while estrogen is produced in smaller quantities. In the event of a balance shift in the rate of production of such hormone, leading to a reduction in androgens and an increase in estrogen. This can trigger the development of gynecomastia. This is likely to happen to owe to hormonal changes brought about by puberty.
The condition is common among young boys aged between 13 and 14 years and often resolves on its own. In a few cases, however, gynecomastia may persist beyond 17 years.
Gynecomastia can also be caused by taking various medications. Examples of medication with the potential to cause gynecomastia to include:
- Androgens and anabolic steroids
- HIV/AIDS medication
- Anti-androgens for treating prostate cancer or enlarged prostate, such as spironolactone
- Medication that is used to treat anxiety. For example, valium
- Ulcer medications
- Medication to treat a heart condition, such as calcium channel blockers
- Alcohol and drugs
Substance abuse may also lead to gynecomastia. Some of these drugs include heroin, and marijuana, while alcohol intake may also cause gynecomastia.
Gynecomastia can also be triggered by various health conditions, especially if the health condition impacts the normal hormonal balance. Some of these conditions include:
Hyperthyroidism, aging, kidney failure, and tumors. Liver failure may also lead to gynecomastia.
Certain plant oils are also linked to gynecomastia. Examples include lavender and tea tree that are widely used in the manufacture of lotions and shampoos. The association with gynecomastia could be because their estrogenic activity is weak.
What are the defining symptoms of gynecomastia?
If you have gynecomastia, you are likely to manifest in breast enlargement. This is by far the key symptom of gynecomastia. The condition can affect one of your breasts or both. Breast growth could be uneven relative to the nipple. At other times, however, the growth is uneven. The growth mainly occurs behind your nipple. It feels firm and rubbery to the touch. The nipple or breast is tender or painful to the touch. In boys who are in the puberty stage, a breast bud may appear on either or both breasts.
The breast bud might remain in place for about 24 months. There could be an increase in the diameter of the areola. This is the pigmented skin around your nipple. In addition, your chest tissues assume an asymmetrical appearance.
In case of persistent or unusual swelling, you need to see your doctor. Also, if there is nipple discharge accompanied by tenderness and pain, it is important that you get checked by your health care provider.
If your doctor suspects you may have gynecomastia, he or she may refer you to an endocrinologist for a proper diagnosis. This is a doctor whose specialty is hormonal imbalances. The endocrinologist will ask you various questions regarding your condition. Some of these questions include:
- The age at which you first noticed that your breasts had enlarged
- Whether there is anybody in your family who have a similar condition
- If there have been any noticeable differences in the size of your nipples
- Whether your nipples are painful or they have any discharge
- Whether you use drugs, take alcohol, or are on any form of medication for a preexisting condition
After taking your medical history, the doctor will then proceed to conduct a physical examination. He or she will carefully examine your breast tissues for any noticeable signs of gynecomastia, such as nipple discharge and breast swelling. If the patient is an adolescent in the puberty stage, and it seems like a case of hormonal imbalance, your doctors may recommend that you watch and wait to see if the condition will resolve on its own. However, the doctor must be fully satisfied that the condition is not painful and that there is no discharge.
Your doctor will often order a mammogram and blood tests to establish the cause of the gynecomastia. Based on the outcome of these initial tests, your doctor may also deem it necessary to order additional tests. These include CT and MRI scans. An ultrasound may also be helpful.
In case of an unusually large lump that also appears hard, fixed, and tender, your doctor may have to order a biopsy. The goal is to check whether the lump is cancerous, or not.
In choosing the best treatment for your gynecomastia, the doctor will take various factors into consideration. These include the cause of the gynecomastia, its severity, and how long you have had the condition. He or she will also take into account the level of discomfort and pain caused by the gynecomastia.
Most of the gynecomastia cases that occur during puberty are often clear on their own without any medical intervention. For this reason, your doctor will rarely recommend treatment for the condition. Instead, your healthcare provider may recommend watching the gynecomastia for a few months to see whether there will be any change in size.
If, however, the gynecomastia is severe often being the source of embarrassment and significant tenderness, your doctor may recommend medication that has been approved by the relevant drugs agency for the treatment of the condition. Examples of such drugs include raloxifene or tamoxifen. The mode of action of these drugs is to block the impact of estrogen in your body. These drugs are also associated with breast reduction, albeit slightly.
In case your surgeon establishes that the gynecomastia is due to the effects of drugs or an underlying health condition, he or she will rarely recommend any treatment. Instead, stopping taking drugs for treating the underlying medical condition will help to resolve the gynecomastia.
In case gynecomastia causes pain and discomfort, your doctor may recommend medication to treat the condition. Such medication includes raloxifene and tamoxifen and is taken for three or six months. For prostate cancer patients, gynecomastia may often present as a complication of hormonal therapy. The use of radiation therapy will prevent gynecomastia.
In case the non-medical treatment procedures fail to correct gynecomastia, your doctor can recommend gynecomastia surgery. The surgery helps to reduce breast size. It also enhances and flattens your chest contours.
Your surgeon may advise that you stop taking herbal supplements and anti-inflammatory drugs. If you are a smoker, make sure to quit the habit a few weeks before the procedure. On the day before the scheduled surgery, we will make sure to have you driven to the medical facility in one of our hospital vans. We will also assist you to complete all the paperwork that might be needed.
An anesthetist will administer medication to ensure you are comfortable during surgery. Gynecomastia can be conducted under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. Your surgeon will recommend the options that he or she feels are best suited for you.
If gynecomastia is mainly due to excess fatty tissues, your surgeon may opt to use liposuction techniques only. The procedure entails making several small incisions to facilitate the insertions of a thin hollow tube known as a cannula. The surgeon moves the cannula in a backward and forward manner. This controlled motion helps to loosen up excess fat. Thereafter, the surgeon applies vacuum suction to remove the loose fat.
In case your surgeon has established there is excess skin or breast tissue, he or she will recommend an excision technique. Additionally, the technique is suitable in case the surgeon needs to reposition or reduce the nipple to enable it to acquire a male natural contour. The pattern of incision differs based on surgical preference. It is also determined by specific patient conditions.
During recovery, you will receive specific instructions regarding taking care of the bandages and dressings on the surgical site. This is important to avoid infection. You are likely to feel pain and discomfort several days after the procedure.
Your surgeon may recommend medication to relieve such pain. You will be advised to limit your involvement in activities as a means of promoting faster recovery. This is because while recuperating, you are highly prone to injury. Should this happen, the recovery period is prolonged. You may request to rest for 2-3 days before resuming daily activities. However, your surgeon will mostly recommend that you take up to two weeks before taking part in strenuous activities such as running or lifting weights. You are likely to experience mild discomfort and tightness around your chest for at least four weeks but the effect will reduce over time.
Your surgeon may also recommend that you wear a compression vest during the first 4 weeks post-surgery. A compression vest offers support to the body in addition to also reducing swelling. A compression vest also promotes skin retraction. Avoid increased fluid intake, as they might promote the formation of a seroma. This refers to a watery fluid that collects around your chest following gynecomastia surgery. While seromas often resolve on their own, if it is very large, this can impair the healing process. Correct posture also goes a long way in promoting in faster healing. Tissue massage is also helpful as it softens the scar tissues.
Gynecomastia is a medical condition of the enlargement of the breast tissue in men and boys. It may cause oversized or uneven breasts. The condition generally occurs during puberty due to hormonal changes in boys. However, in some cases, the condition may appear very early in newborn babies or even in grown-up men. In Bangalore, there are many hospitals for the treatment of gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is generally treated with medicines and in some cases, surgery may be needed.
Benefits of Gynecomastia Surgery in Bangalore
- Affordable prices
- State-of-the-art medical facilities
- Faster recovery
- Minimal risks
- Transport services before and after the surgery
- Post-op consultation
Goficure for Gynecomastia treatment in Bangalore
Goficure is a healthcare service provider in Bangalore. If you are looking for treatment in Bangalore, you may connect with us. If you are an adult man looking for treatment or a parent who has a son suffering from gynecomastia, please feel free to call us or write to us. You can also chat with our 24/7 support staff. Our support staff will help you book an appointment with the doctor of your choice. We assure you that we only ensure the best doctors in Bangalore. We have a list of hospitals and medical institutes that provide top-class services in Bangalore and ensures top facilities for medical treatments. Our medical representative will provide you with guidance and explain the treatment process. If any surgery is needed, they will book appointments, provide hospital care, and also make arrangements for insurance coverage. If you are a parent, you can talk to our counselor. Our counselor will help your child understand the process of treatment and offer guidance.
1. Dedicated Medi-Pal
A dedicated Medi-Pal is assigned to you. Your Medi-Pal will be your one point contact throughout the treatment and post-op period. They will always be available for you
2. Quick doctor’s appointments
After understanding your concerns, your Medi-Pal will schedule your consultation with a specialist doctor. Your doctor will carry out necessary tests and advise the course of treatment
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If you opt to get the surgery done, goficure will take care of it completely. Right from booking your surgery, claiming your insurance to being with you throughout the procedure, your Medi-Pal will do it all
4. Post-op recovery support
Your Medi-Pal would ensure quick recovery. This includes booking your follow up consultations and helping you with doctor-recommended steps for diet & exercise
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