What You Should Know About Gynecomastia

What You Should Know About Gynecomastia

If you’re a man who’s grown breasts — a condition known as gynecomastia — it’s understandable that you would feel self-conscious. Many men with this condition report that they refrain from physical activity or sexual intimacy so they don’t have to reveal their chest. 

Gynecomastia is more common than you might think. That’s why board-certified surgeon Matthew Lynch, MD, and the rest of our team are here to help. We can medically treat the condition to restore your appearance, which can boost your confidence and help you feel your very best.

Understanding gynecomastia 

Gynecomastia refers to enlarged breast tissue in men. This excess tissue grows in the breast gland tissue, which makes it different from breasts that enlarge due to weight gain. When you have gynecomastia, you may notice breast tenderness or a rubbery mass around your nipple.  

It’s rare to develop breast cancer with gynecomastia, but it’s still important to watch out for any breast changes such as:

Hormone imbalances and gynecomastia

When you have gynecomastia, you have an imbalance in estrogen and testosterone. Men usually have a very small amount of estrogen, which produces sperm and regulates sex drive. 

If you produce too much estrogen, the hormone imbalance triggers breast development. These hormonal changes are most likely to happen at these three time periods in life:


Over half of male infants have excess breast tissue when they’re born. This specific kind of gynecomastia is triggered by the mother’s estrogen, and the enlarged breasts usually dissipate about 2-3 weeks after birth. 


Sometimes, boys going through the hormonal changes of puberty can develop extra breast tissue. In these cases, the enlarged breasts slowly go away over the course of six months to two years. 


Unfortunately, the adult form of gynecomastia doesn’t go away on its own. If you have this type, you need treatment to get rid of the excess breast tissue. 

What causes gynecomastia?

The main culprits of breast enlargement in adult men are lowered testosterone levels and increased estrogen levels, which change slowly over time. In addition, an overactive thyroid, pituitary gland issues, and kidney or liver failure can increase your risk of gynecomastia. 

Some of these frequently used medications have also been shown to cause gynecomastia:

Abusing opioids, amphetamines, marijuana, and alcohol can also lead to gynecomastia. 

Treatment options for gynecomastia

If you do have an underlying health condition that’s causing gynecomastia, we should be able  to partially, if not completely, reverse the gynecomastia by addressing the medical issue. We may recommend medications to block the effects of estrogen and restore your hormone balance. 

As time goes on, the excess breast tissue may start to change and appear more like scar tissue. When this is the case, medication probably won’t help anymore, and surgery may be necessary. 

Surgery for gynecomastia: What to expect

When other treatments aren’t effective at addressing gynecomastia, breast reduction surgery might be your best option to eliminate enlarged breasts and improve your appearance. 

During surgery, we may start by using liposuction to eliminate excess fat before removing the enlarged glandular tissue. Most of the time, we also reduce the size of the nipple and reposition it after removing all of the excess tissue.

While everyone heals at their own pace, you can expect to get back to work and perform light activities after 7-10 days, but it takes about 2-4 weeks to heal fully enough to tolerate strenuous activities.

Gynecomastia surgery can do so much for your appearance, self-esteem, and overall quality of life. If you’d like to learn more about how to eliminate enlarged male breasts, call our East Windsor, New Jersey, office at 609-448-6200 or book an appointment online.

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