True" gynecomastia is an enlargement of the glandular tissue of the male breast. The primary symptom of gynecomastia is enlargement of the male breasts. Gynecomastia is the enlargement of glandular tissue rather than fatty tissue. It is typically symmetrical in location with regard to the nipple and may have a rubbery or firm feel. Gynecomastia usually occurs on both sides but can be unilateral in some cases.
Most people think of estrogen as an exclusively female hormone, but men also produce it — though normally in small quantities. All individuals, whether male or female, possess both female hormones (estrogens) and male hormones (androgens). Gynecomastia results from an imbalance in hormone levels in which levels of estrogen are increased relative to levels of androgens. Gynecomastia that occurs in normally-growing infant and pubertal boys that resolves on its own with time is known as physiologic gynecomastia.
Gynecomastis is characterized by:
- Excess localized fat
- Excess glandular tissue development
- Excess breast skin (occasionally)
Generally speaking gynecomastia is not a serious medical condition however it can be difficult to deal with. For many men, gynecomastia can affect self – image and the ability to feel confident in intimate relationships and participation in activities such as swimming, sports locker rooms, or other situations where a man may feel uncomfortable without wearing a shirt.
Gynecomastia is typically treated with surgery. A very thorough overview of male breast reduction surgery can be found here.
Breast reduction surgery to correct gynecomastia includes a small incision around the areola to remove the excess breast tissue, and reposition the nipple and areola complex for a more masculine and defined chest. In addition to breast tissue, many times it is necessary to remove excess skin that has stretched as the breast tissue has enlarged. Surgical techniques for male breast reduction also include liposuction to deliberately sculpt and contour the chest to obtain the best result.
Dr Lynch’s expertise in male breast reduction surgery includes each of these techniques, as well as an individual approach to each man's needs and expectations.