Gynecomastia is described as the enlargement of glandular breast tissue in men. It may be unilateral or bilateral. Gynecomastia may be caused by a number of factors and it is important to know the cause to know the relevant treatment.
– Infant gynecomastia due to maternal estrogen.
– Pubertal gynecomastia due to hormonal changes and imbalances.
– Certain drugs such as; steroids, chemotherapy drugs, AIDS medication, and anti-depressants.
– Drugs of abuse such as alcohol, heroin, and marijuana.
Gynecomastia is known to be embarrassing and emotionally devastating and hence the need for reduction. This can be done through:
1. Hormone balancing drugs.
2. Surgery. Which may either be
• Liposuction surgery that aims at removing fat tissue around the breast especially common in obese men.
• Invasive tissue surgery also known as mastectomy.
Before Surgery Understand
It is important to note the following factors before choosing to undergo surgery;
1. The underlying cause of the gynecomastia is important
As a rule physiological gynecomastia as in infants is not treated as the breast reduces to normal size by itself.
2. Post-surgery complications may and will arise.
• Contour irregularity on the chest.
• Permanent numbness around the alveolar area
• Bruising and swelling around the chest
• Excessive fluid loss
• Changes in skin pigmentation.
• Side effects of the anesthetic drugs used.
• Infection and excessive bleeding.
3. Surgery may not be a permanent solution
Even after the surgery, the patient should ensure that they refrain from the underlying cause of the gynecomastia as in the cases of drugs or alcohol. A healthy diet and exercise will reduce the risk of obesity-induced gynecomastia.
4. A competent surgeon will reduce the risk of complications.
An extensive and thorough research on the perfect surgeon is necessary to reduce the risk of doctor induced errors. Consultation and prior evaluation of surgery as an option will also reduce the risk of post-operative complications.
5. The cost of the surgery is very high
While matters of cost may be relative, the overall total cost of gynecomastia surgery is still higher than that of most standard operations. In light of this, there are other alternatives to the surgery which include breast reduction pills and topically applied creams.
However, of all this surgery remains to be the one solution with instant results and a reduced recurrence of up to 95%. One can read more here. While surgery remains to be the most sought after solution in such cases it is important to weigh the risk and importance on an individual basis and to find out what works best for each person as an individual.