Gynecomastia, or enlarged male breasts, is one of the most common reasons why men seek cosmetic surgery. There are three different kinds of gynecomastia:
- Adipose--composed of fat
- Glandular--composed of an enlarged breast gland
- Mixed--composed of both fat and an enlarged breast gland
Adipose gynecomastia is the most common. Many men's bodies deposit fat in the breast region as part of general weight gain. Unfortunately, the breasts may grow disproportionately large as a result.
Glandular gynecomastia may be the result of a hormonal imbalance or the use of certain medications. Anabolic steroids, herbal supplements, and certain medications containing estrogen may contribute to the development of glandular gynecomastia. Sometimes, it can be a sign of a serious condition, such as impaired liver function or testicular cancer.
Mixed gynecomastia has both fat and enlarged gland tissue. It can be the result of the same causes as glandular gynecomastia.
Adipose gynecomastia can be remedied with liposuction alone, but if there is enlarged glandular tissue, it will have to be removed by slightly more invasive surgery.
So, what kind of gynecomastia do you have? Dr. George Lefkovits can determine what type of gynecomastia you have and what surgery may be necessary to correct it, using a combination of techniques including visual examination, touching the breast, and, in a few cases, a mammogram. You can start to get an idea by pinching and pressing on the breast tissue. Fat is soft, but glandular tissue is firmer. Pinch around the outsides of the breast and you will most likely feel only fat, but if you pinch in the middle, you may feel the solid mass of the breast gland. Sometimes, though, the glandular tissue is diffuse, making it harder to feel.