Gynecomastia or gyno is the word used by doctors to describe man boobs. It happens when the breast tissue, which is found in all men, enlarges so that it can be seen and felt, causing breasts to form. As this is not usual in men, it has a medical term – gynecomastia.
All breast tissue responds to hormone levels. In most men most of the time, the level of the ‘male’ hormone testosterone is much higher than the level of the ‘female’ hormone estrogen. This balance means that breast tissue does not grow and most men are not even aware that it’s there. If anything changes the balance of these hormones (so either testosterone falls or estrogen rises) this can send a message to the breast tissue telling it to grow. As the breast tissue grows it becomes obvious and forms gynecomastia.
Mild gynecomastia is when the breast swelling is relatively small and found just behind the nipple. This is the usually the first stage that the man notices. For many men, their gynecomastia will stop here and never get any bigger. For some men, the breast tissue continues to enlarge and the condition progresses. Mild gynecomastia can be seen, as it makes the breast area jut out from the chest wall, and sometimes makes the nipple more prominent. The swelling can also often be felt as a firm or rubbery smooth disc.
The most common time for a man to experience gynecomastia is during puberty – when up to 70% of teenagers have some degree of breast enlargement. During puberty there is a huge surge in all types of hormones, meaning that the relative balance of estrogen and testosterone can change. Often, this is enough to cause a young man’s breasts to grow a little and cause gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is also common in male babies, who are exposed to high levels of their mother’s estrogen, and in older men who naturally experience a slight fall in testosterone levels.
All types of gynecomastia are much more common in men who are overweight or obese. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the breast swelling may in fact be fatty tissue rather than true enlargement of the breast. This is because fat can build up on the chest wall, just as it can anywhere else on the body. It’s often very difficult to tell the difference between fatty tissue and true gyno from the appearance alone. Secondly, fat in the body encourages more estrogen to be produced. If there is a lot of fat, the body makes more estrogen which can cause the breast tissue to get bigger.
Gynecomastia often has no symptoms – particularly when it is mild. Some men describe an itching of the nipple area, or occasionally under the arm, which may occur before any swelling is seen. The first thing that many men notice is that the nipple becomes more prominent or juts out from the chest wall. This is followed by increased swelling behind the nipple itself and the surrounding area called the areola. Pain is not usually reported with gynecomastia, although enlarging breast tissue can ache or be a little tender to the touch. The swelling is usually on both sides, or bilateral – although it can often start on one side first. Very occasionally in mild gynecomastia there can be some discharge from the nipple, but this is unusual.
For most men, although gynecomastia can be both embarrassing and distressing, it is not medically worrying. Particularly when it is mild, gynecomastia will often go away on its own and does not need any specific treatment. During puberty, time and observation are all that is needed. If a man is overweight, diet and exercise are the best treatment, as following a diet will reduce fatty tissue and exercise will help build up muscles in the area and improve the chest’s appearance.
If there might be other reasons for developing gynecomastia or the man is concerned, it is always a good idea to go and talk to a doctor. The doctor will discuss the problem with the man and work out what the cause is. Even if the gynecomastia is mild, a doctor will be happy to talk through the options and see if any treatment is needed.
A gynecomastia procedure includes the following steps:
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures. The options include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best option for you.
In cases where gynecomastia is primarily the result of excess fatty tissue, liposuction techniques alone may be used. This requires insertion of a cannula, a thin hollow tube, through several small incisions. The cannula is moved back and forth in a controlled motion to loosen the excess fat, which is then removed from the body by vacuum suction.
Excision techniques are recommended where glandular breast tissue or excess skin must be removed to correct gynecomastia. Excision also is necessary if the areola will be reduced or the nipple will be repositioned to a more natural male contour. Incision patterns vary depending on the specific conditions and surgical preference.
Sometimes gynecomastia is treated with both liposuction and excision
A few changes in the daily routine and adding a few tips after the surgery can help with the healing process. One of the important aspects of the recovery phase involves wearing the compression garment for a few weeks. Your surgeon will guide you how to use the compression garment based on the kind of surgery you have undergone.
A compression garment helps in reducing the swelling caused by the surgery. The longer it is worn, the more quickly you heal. Doctors recommend that it should not be removed until the second or third day after the surgery. Patients can feel free to remove the compression garment while showering only temporarily.
Final results after the surgery only start to appear after 3 or more months of time. The patient can see visible changes in the chest such as a flatter, firmer and more masculine chest contour as desired. Healing is a slow process and differs with every patient. A little patience can go a long way.
With the most efficient solution in addressing many men’s problems – Gynecomastia Surgery in Jalandhar has been quite successful in putting an end to this issue once and for all.