Gynecomastia Causes

Plastic Surgery for New York City (NYC), Manhattan and all of New York (NY)

Gynecomastia revision or male breast reduction, is one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures sought by men, especially men aged 39 and under, and experienced a 5 % growth from 2006 to 2007, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

What is Gynecomastia?  Gynecomastia is Greek for "woman’s breasts," and it refers to a condition in which men's breasts are enlarged and embarrassing. Gynecomastia proper (as distinct from weight-related gynecomastia) is a hormonal condition, although many cases of gynecomastia have no known cause.  In other cases, the most common causes are:

  • Medication that includes hormones or affect hormone pathways, including:
    • Cimetidine (marketed as Tagamet) and omeprazole (Prilosec)
    • Spironolactone (Aldactone, Novo-Spiroton, etc)
    • Imatinib (Gleevac)
    • Risperidone (Risperidal) and other antipsychotics that affect dopamine levels
    • Hormone fluctuation during puberty
    • Increased estrogen production (sometimes related to testicular cancer or hyperthyroidism)
    • Kidney or liver disease

When seeking treatment for gynecomastia, it is important to determine whether any serious health conditions are the cause of the enlarged breasts.  In most cases, the condition can be corrected by first identifying and addressing the underlying cause, then utilizing liposuction to shrink the man's breasts.  In some cases, it is also necessary to remove glandular tissue.

Sometimes, weight gain can cause a man's breasts to become enlarged.  This is not technically gynecomastia, and should be treated cosmetically as part of a body contouring program.  In addition, weight gain can sometimes lead to an increase in estrogen levels, creating gynecomastia in the true sense.

To learn more about gynecomastia, its causes and treatments, contact Dr. Lefkovits at Park Plaza Plastic Surgery today for a free initial consultation.

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