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Gynecomastia, also known as male breast enlargement, can be an uncomfortable and embarrassing condition for men of all ages. Patients who wish to improve their self-confidence and enjoy a healthy, well-contoured physique may feel the appearance of their “feminine breasts” get in the way of accomplishing that goal.

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Gynecomastia is quite common and can occur at any age due to a number of different factors. For men who wish to reduce their breast tissue, identifying the cause can be the key to treating this condition before undergoing surgery.

What Is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is a medical condition in which localized fat and glandular tissue deposits develop in a man’s chest. This can make their breasts look oversized and feminine, causing them discomfort and sometimes pain. It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly why this condition occurs. This is because gynecomastia can occur due to multiple reasons.

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Health Conditions

In some rare cases, health conditions like liver or kidney failure can be one source of gynecomastia. This condition is a symptom of a more serious health problem. Should spontaneous, unexplained development of gynecomastia occur, visit your physician immediately to determine the cause.

Some of these conditions include:

  • Endocrine Tumors
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypogonadism
  • Weight gain
  • Aging
  • Cirrhosis


Hormonal changes can also play a huge role in the development of male breast tissue. Loss or lack of testosterone can cause an increase in estrogen, leading to the development of gynecomastia. Men with elevated levels of estrogen are more likely to develop gynecomastia because estrogen stimulates the growth of glandular tissue in the breasts. Gynecomastia can develop in men during childhood, puberty, and between the ages of 50 and 80.


Certain medications can target the endocrine system, which controls the production and use of hormones and can cause feminine breasts to develop on a man. Some of the medications that can cause gynecomastia include:

  • Steroids
  • Antibiotics
  • AIDS medications
  • Anxiety medications
  • Anti-androgens (used to treat prostate cancer)

Drugs and Alcohol

Excessive drinking can also affect the way a man’s body metabolizes hormones. When this occurs, an excess of estrogen can develop and trigger breast growth. Patients who are also experimenting with drugs like marijuana, methadone, and heroin can develop gynecomastia.

How to Identify Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is easily detected. Sensitivity to touch and soreness are the easiest symptoms to identify. Other symptoms of gynecomastia to keep an eye out for include:

  • Excessive breast tissue
  • Breast gland development
  • Swollen breast gland tissue
  • Breast pain
  • Discharge from the nipples


How to Treat Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia surgery, or male breast reduction, can get rid of feminine-looking breasts for men who desire a more toned and masculine chest. Gynecomastia surgery is an outpatient procedure and takes about two hours to perform. During the procedure, a small incision is made on the lower part of the areola, and excess fat is removed using liposuction. Because the muscles are not affected by this surgery, recovery time is minimal. Patients may experience some minor swelling that can persist for up to two weeks. Patients will regain their confidence and enjoy their new look for years to come.

To learn more about gynecomastia surgery, contact Dr. Karl Hiatt at (480) 844-1410 to set up a consultation.