Q. What is Gynecomastia?
A. Gynecomastia is characterised by breast tissue becoming overgrown in the male body. This condition can develop at any age and can be very distressing. The good news is that there are relatively little health risks related with this condition. However, embarrassment and stress can often result from this condition.
Q. What is the cause of Gynecomastia?
A. Gynecomastia is generally caused by an imbalance of hormones. This can be because of a deficiency in testosterone levels or an excess amount of estrogen in the body. Hormone imbalances can be caused naturally or as the result of taking certain drugs or a number of health conditions. Some anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications have been known to cause imbalances of hormones so it may be a good idea to speak to your doctor if you feel your drugs are causing gynecomastia.
Q. How is Gynecomastia diagnosed?
A. The first thing to do when enlarged breasts become a problem is to rule out any other health conditions. Your doctor should perform a thorough physical examination and check your medical history together with any prescription drugs you are currently taking. Your doctor may request other tests are carried out such as blood tests, mammograms, CT scans and MRIs. This will ensure there are no other underlying causes and that the most suitable treatment can be carried out.
Q. How is Gynecomastic treated?
A. Gynecomastia usually results from an imbalance of hormones that occur naturally in the male body. Over time this condition will usually resolve itself, but occasionally a course of hormone therapy may be required. If your medication is the cause of your condition then your doctor or therapist should put you on a different course of drugs or adjust your dosage accordingly. Another option that can be considered is surgery and if no other treatment works there are many surgical procedures that can be carried out. Liposuction and mastectomy are the most common forms of surgery available today and offer a permanent solution to this stressful condition.
Q. If I have surgery, what is the recovery time?
A. Gynecomastia surgery is a relatively straight forward procedure and only requires a few days off work. For the first 48 hours following surgery, the patient must wear a surgical vest across the chest which will aid with recovery times and ensure the area is kept clean and free from unnecessary rubbing from clothes that could cause discomfort. Most patients recover enough to return to work after 4 days and some are even able to go back a day or two later. Recovery times depend on the procedure carried out and your body’s ability to heal itself.