All About Gynecomastia

Understanding Gynecomastia and our Gynecomastia Surgery in St Louis

A widely misunderstood condition, gynecomastia refers to the development of firm breast tissue in males—mistakenly equated with the “man boobs,” or false gynecomastia, though the two could not be more different.

With gynecomastia, firm breast tissue begins as a lump under the nipple and spans often less than an inch and a half across the areola region, distributed evenly or unevenly on one or both breasts. The breast or breasts affected by gynecomastia may also feel tender and painful.

Alternatively, false gynecomastia is the development in males of localized fat on the chest area that may resemble breasts. Unlike true gynecomastia, in which sufferers will find that the tissue is firm, those experiencing false gynecomastia have soft tissue in the affected areas.

Thankfully, the condition is not life-threatening, though men with gynecomastia have an increased risk of developing male breast cancer compared to the general population—not because gynecomastia itself is directly linked to cancer, but rather because rapid hormonal changes may betray underlying conditions that can lead to cancer.

Both boys and men with gynecomastia may experience feelings of shame or embarrassment, on top of the physical pain associated with it all.  Fortunately, gaining a firm understanding of the causes of gynecomastia and your treatment options makes finding a solution much easier. Don’t let gynecomastia hold you back; read on to learn more about this easily treatable condition and to find out more about our Gynecomastia St Louis Surgery!

What Causes Gynecomastia?

There are a few different factors that can contribute to the development of gynecomastia. Between natural hormonal changes, negative health conditions, certain medications, excessive use of products that are harmful to the body (which lead to negative health conditions), and specific herbal supplements and products that affect hormone levels, those affected by gynecomastia can pinpoint their condition from one or several elements.

Males and females both experience shifting hormonal levels associated with aging, such as going through puberty and entering their golden years. What separates males who do and do not have gynecomastia are their levels of male estrogen; when estrogen levels climb too high in males, they can develop gynecomastia. Negative health conditions related to weight gain, malnourishment, hyogonadism, Klinefelter Syndrome, chronic renal failure, kidney and liver failure, and pituitary insufficiencies can also lead to gynecomastia through an imbalance in hormonal levels.

Hormones can also be altered by use of supplements and products with plant oils such as tea tree oil, dong quai, tribulus terrestris, and lavender, usually found in skin- and hair-care products, because of the natural estrogen present in these plants.

Drugs of both the legal and illegal kind can also contribute to gynecomastia. Illegal drugs like amphetamines, heroin, and opioids have been linked to gynecomastia, while prescription medications such as antibiotics, heartburn and ulcer medications, heart medications, ACE inhibitors, anabolic steroids and human growth hormones, anti-androgens, anti-anxiety medications, anti-depressants, treatments for HIV and AIDS, and chemotherapy are also associated with the condition. Excessive alcohol use has also been found to lead to gynecomastia.

Our St Louis Gynecomastia Treatment Options

Gynecomastia doesn’t have to be permanent; despite the many factors that can lead to gynecomastia, there are just as many treatment options available, particularly with our Gynecomastia St Louis procedures here at the laser Lipo and Vein Center.

Boys going through puberty will often find that gynecomastia will go away on its own within six months to a few years, while other cases of gynecomastia may require medication or surgery (though medication is said to be most effective during the first twelve months that the condition presents itself). If you believe you have gynecomastia, consult a professional physician and discuss your options for treatment, which may include:

  • Testosterone replacement: Ideal for older men with low testosterone levels; ineffective for males with normal testosterone levels, and most often used for severe or painful symptoms
  • Danazol: A synthetic derivative of testosterone that inhibits the pituitary secretion of substances that tell the body’s reproductive organs to produce hormones; less commonly used than other medications
  • Breast reduction surgery: Removal of breast fat used to treat severe and/or long-term gynecomastia, usually after drug therapies have proven ineffective
  • Mastectomy: Removal of breast gland tissue through less invasive surgery techniques, with reduced recovery time

You don’t need to feel like you’re stuck with this bothersome, unfortunate condition; consult with us today and learn more about your options before making any major medical decisions.

The Experts at Laser Lipo and Veins Can Help!

Contact our office team and schedule an appointment with our friendly, experienced doctors. We’re happy to support you on your journey to recovering from gynecomastia by offering information and medical guidance. Call Laser Lipo and Veins today so you can undergo our St Louis Gynecomastia procedure!