What is Gynecomastia and What are the Treatment Methods?

What is Gynecomastia and What are the Treatment Methods?

Gynecomastia is a disorder that causes enlargement and swelling of the breast with the increase of the breast tissue itself or the adipose tissue in the breast in men. "Gyneco" means related to women, feminine, "masti" represents breast growth. In other words, gynecomastia is the case of feminine breast enlargement in men.

Gynecomastia might affect only one breast or can affect both breasts. Most of the time, a disorder cannot be found in patients to cause this condition and the cause is not clearly known. Among the known causes of gynecomastia, imbalances in the male hormone or an increase in the female hormone are pointed out. At the same time, prepared foods mixed with hormones, the use of some drugs and steroids, or excessive and rapid weight gain and loss are shown as the cause.However, the cause of gynecomastia is not known exactly. If there are other examination findings, the patient can be investigated hormonally, but often a hormonal disorder cannot be detected. Obesity, nutritional disorders and excessive consumption of ready-to-eat foods, hormone-secreting masses in the testicles or adrenal glands, some liver diseases, thyroid dysfunction, kidney failure, or some medications are also possible gynecomastia causes.

Gynecomastia can usually be seen with changing hormone levels during puberty. It is also possible in middle age and beyond. Generally, the patients are young/middle-aged men.

Gynecomastia often manifests itself with pain, tenderness, and abnormal growth in the breast. Patients often complain that a hard mass behind the nipple reaches their hands it can be moved by hand. At the same time, the majority of the male patients states that they do not want to take off their clothes in public, they do not want to use the dressing areas and showers, they have difficulty in wearing t-shirts in summer and they do not want to go swimming due to the bad appearance. This may cause anxiety, stress, and depression in some patients.

To talk about the issues that patients with gynecomastia are most mistaken for, gynecomastia does not go away on its own. It cannot be reduced by losing weight. Again, patients think that it can pass if they gain chest muscle. On the contrary, when the muscle is exercised and enlarged, it pushes the fat and breast tissue further forward and gynecomastia does not disappear, it becomes more obvious and looks more swollen.

The growth in the breast tissue in gynecomastia can be seen in 3 ways. Either breast tissue may increase or fat tissue may increase or both can be seen in combination. This distinction is sometimes made by examination, and in cases where there is a break, breast ultrasound or MRI is performed. At the same time, hormone tests and some blood tests may be requested when deemed necessary.

The treatment of gynecomastia with the increased breast tissue is the removal of the breast tissue by entering with an incision under the nipple. In gynecomastia with increased adipose tissue, the treatment is liposuction. If there is an increase in breast tissue and an increase in adipose tissue, both liposuction and tissue removal with an incision under the nipple are performed.

There is usually no need for treatment in children and adolescents. It is enough to wait and observe. If one of the reasons mentioned above causes gynecomastia, this medical condition should be treated first.

The purpose of surgical treatment in gynecomastia is to remove excess tissue and fat, to change the breast shape from a feminine breast to a masculine breast image, to remove excess skin, if any, to achieve the closest symmetry between the right and the left, and to keep the scar to a minimum. The surgery is done under general anesthesia. Incisions are half-moon incisions of 2-3 centimeters under the nipple.If only liposuction is performed, there will be small traces of only 3-4 entrance holes of 5 millimeters. 1 day of hospitalization is sufficient. Drains placed for the evacuation of blood and fluids that may accumulate inside are removed painlessly within 2-3 days. Sufficient recovery is achieved within an average of 1 week and wearing tight corset / athlete for 3-4 weeks is recommended.After 3-4 weeks, the patient will recover and he/she can easily perform many activities. It is recommended to quit smoking before the operation and not to smoke for a while after the operation. It is normal to see edema, swelling and mild irregularities in the breast area after surgery. These will pass by time. It is important to rest for 3 days after gynecomastia surgery and not to move the arms and shoulders too much for less painful and faster recovery. If there is no problem, you can take a short shower, return to work and take walks 3 days after gynecomastia surgery.

Surg. Dr. Mehmet OnurÖztürk

Aesthetic, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery