By Dr. Patrick W. Hsu
Males can also have larger breasts that may be hereditary, drug or steroid induced or just unknown. When this happens, it is referred to as gynecomastia. These cases can vary from just a simple breast bud to larger cases where there may be a lot of breast tissue. It can be just one sided or both sided and is often times associated with pain and discomfort, especially if manipulated. Additionally, these individuals are usually extremely self-conscious of their body and avoid situations that involve them taking off their shirt such as the pool or beach. Dr. Hsu understands the embarrassment these patients have and have helped many patients feel completely normal with their shirts off in whatever situation.
There can be many causes of gynecomastia. The most common causes include hereditary, obesity, certain medical problems, steroid abuse, hormonal imbalance and certain prescription medications. Dr. Hsu will take a detailed history to eliminate more important causes such as hormonal imbalance, which can be caused by a tumor.
The most common is either hereditary or largely an unknown cause. This will usually present in adolescence as the person is going through puberty. Although many will resolve on their own at the end of puberty, there are those patients where the breasts never regress. These patients will usually seek out help later in the teenage year and early twenties when they are more comfortable dealing with the situation openly.
Those patients who develop gynecomastia suddenly are usually a result of drug induced or marijuana abuse. There are many prescription medications that have been associated with gynecomastia. Marijaunaand steroid abuse has also been linked to the sudden onset of gynecomastia. Be sure to list all medications and social history during your consultation with Dr. Hsu.
There are different types of surgery that can be offered for gynecomastia. This mostly depends on how severe the case is. Milder cases can often be treated with aggressive liposuction and possible a small incision around the areola. More difficult and severe cases with more skin may involve more incisions in conjunction with liposuction and breast tissue resection.
Recovery after gynecomastia surgery is quite easy. Patients usually report soreness for about 3-5 days that is easily controlled with pain medications. A tight compression vest is usually worn for about two weeks to facilitate healing. Bruising will be gone around 2 weeks and patients can usually resume all normal activities between 2-4 weeks.
Swelling may persist for around 1-3 months before final results can be seen.