What Causes Enlarged Male Breasts? Top Reasons

Submitted by Dr. Joyesh Raj on Thu 02/17/2022 - 09:00
Gynecomastia treatment, Westlake, OH

Gynecomastia is a condition in which men develop excess breast tissue, which can be painful and embarrassing for the 40 to 60 percent of men who experience it. Enlarged male breasts affect newborns, adolescents going through puberty and adult men, typically due to hormonal changes. While the effects are temporary for baby boys and most teens, gynecomastia is an ongoing concern for many men in the Cleveland area.

A restricted diet and rigorous exercise typically do not work to improve gynecomastia because the issue is breast tissue, not excess fat. Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Joyesh Raj, offers gynecomastia treatment or male breast reduction to remove the excess glandular tissue and provide a more masculine chest contour.

Gynecomastia is often caused by hormonal imbalance, which may be linked to medications, drug use or your medical history.

Prescription Medications Linked to Gynecomastia

Pharmaceutical drugs that cause hormone fluctuations, such as decreased testosterone, can lead to enlarged male breasts. These medications include tricyclic antidepressants, antibiotics, chemotherapy, calcium channel blockers, anabolic steroids and drugs that treat heart disease, male infertility, AIDS and ADHD. Discontinuing the medication may improve gynecomastia, but surgery is necessary for some men.

Illicit drugs such as marijuana, heroin, amphetamines, steroids used for muscle building and excessive alcohol consumption may also lead to gynecomastia.

Medical Conditions

Health conditions affecting the production and balance of your hormones may cause abnormal breast tissue growth. Hypogonadism and similar medical conditions can lower testosterone production, especially in men who are overweight. Tumors found in the pituitary gland, adrenal glands or testes can also cause hormonal imbalances. Malnutrition, kidney failure, hyperthyroidism and liver failure are also linked to enlarged male breasts.

Symptoms of Gynecomastia

Many men do not experience symptoms outside of the excess breast tissue growth, but you can experience breast pain and tenderness, nipple sensitivity (especially rubbing against clothing) and swollen breasts. If you feel a lump or experience significant breast pain, breast itching, nipple discharge or itchiness in the under arms, the enlarged breast tissue may be a symptom of a larger medical concern that requires immediate treatment.

Pseudogynecomastia occurs when the male breasts are enlarged due to fat deposits, not glandular tissue. Male breast reduction can often address the condition using liposuction techniques for a flatter chest.

While enlarged male breasts may not be a significant medical concern, they often pose a humiliating cosmetic problem for men living with gynecomastia. You may shy away from certain events, such as swimming to avoid showing your bare chest, and wear loose clothing to reduce painful symptoms and conceal the excess breast tissue. Gynecomastia treatment with male breast reduction can eliminate the embarrassment many men feel from what is often called “man boobs.”

Dr. Raj will customize your male breast reduction to achieve a flatter, more toned chest and increase your self-confidence. The procedure will remove the excess tissue, tighten the remaining structures and may modify oversized nipples and areolas. Our plastic surgeon minimizes scarring with strategic incisions that fade and blend in with the breast tissue.

To discuss your gynecomastia treatment with male breast reduction, call or email our practice today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Raj.