Many males develop enlarged breasts that can make them feel embarrassed and uncomfortable about the state of their bodies. There are many reasons for this, so men should know some essential elements regarding the cause of breast development and what is involved with a typical breast reduction surgery.

Hormonal Imbalances In Men Could Cause Breast Development/Swelling

As a man ages, his hormones often decrease over time. Lack of an essential and significant male hormone (testosterone) and/or increased female hormone (estrogen) can result in breast development, to the dismay of many male patients. Male bodybuilders often take supplemental anabolic steroids to increase their muscle mass and make them more defined. As a result, sometimes bodybuilders then develop breast area swelling and the appearance of slight breast development that looks more feminine than these workout enthusiasts desire.

Bodybuilders who stop working out and/or grow older are often more prone to the development of the breast region, much to their chagrin.

Why Do Boys Report Breast Swelling Near Puberty?

During puberty, the body’s normal levels of hormones can become altered. This can cause many different adverse effects that can include breast development. Sometimes, this breast enlargement might be different on each side. With more breast enlargement on one side, the chest area can look lopsided, even in clothes.

Pubescent males often have surges of hormones that result in breast enlargement. This condition is usually asymptomatic, but some males present with other accompanying symptoms. Boys who notice their increased breast size will most often see it reverse when hormones level out after puberty. Some males, though, will not lose the excess breast tissue even when older, and they may need to undergo a male breast reduction surgery by a top-rated Raleigh-based plastic surgeon such as Dr. Michael Zenn to remedy the problem effectively.

Many Drugs Can Cause Male Breast Enlargement

Along with particular steroids, many drugs can also cause male breast enlargement. This is certainly something that every male should know about. Common medications include drugs that reduce prostate enlargement, like Proscar® or Propecia®, as well as calcium channel blockers, such as amiodarone (Cordarone®, Spironolactone, or Aldactone®), which are used to treat fluid buildup such as leg edema. Also, other medications, including digoxin, known as Lanoxin®.
Some psychiatric medications known to cause this health condition can include some anti-depressants, often the SSRI or SNRI versions. However, patients should never stop taking psychiatric medication, including anti-depressants, without talking with the prescribing doctor beforehand. Always review any newly prescribed medications with your pharmacist and doctor.

Drugs can often be the primary cause of breast enlargement in men. One common example is the use of marijuana, which is popular with teens and adults. It’s essential to be honest with healthcare professionals about everything, including illicit or over-the-counter drug and supplement use. Of course, this honest communication with healthcare providers increases overall health safety immensely. 

How Many Males Suffer from Breast Development?

The incidence of males that suffer from breast development is estimated to be as high as 40 to 50 percent of men at some point throughout their lifetimes. Plastic surgeons often advise younger males undergoing puberty changes to hold off on surgery as the condition is likely to resolve without treatment.
If gynecomastia, or male breast enlargement, does not subside after puberty (i.e., within six months to 2 years), consultation with a plastic surgeon makes sense. At that point, the plastic surgeon may advise that the patient undergo a surgical solution.

Interestingly, it’s estimated that this condition also occurs in up to 70 percent of men aged 50 to 69. Obesity and medications are the primary causes.

Some Unwanted Results of Untreated Male Breast Enlargement

Male breast enlargement can be embarrassing for young teens and men who experience it. It’s important to note that this condition can result in unwanted symptoms if not treated. This includes a lack of self-esteem, poor body image, and acute embarrassment. These feelings can easily cause the patient to become socially isolated. Many men with gynecomastia avoid social situations and sports where they must go shirtless. They may prefer baggy or oversized clothes to hide their condition. Some men lose weight and build their pec muscles to improve their condition. Unfortunately, doing so has the opposite effect, making the breast tissue appear even more prominent.

Where To Call for Male Breast Reduction Surgery

It’s important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon experienced with male breast reduction surgery for the best results. A thorough patient evaluation is mandatory before deciding on an appropriate treatment plan. Surgical procedures are outpatient and generally pain-free.

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