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Gynecomastia is the growth of excess breast tissue in males, which causes abnormally large breasts. This condition can occur in one or both breasts, starting as a small lump beneath the nipple which may be tender. Often, they enlarge unevenly. It is not uncommon for it to start at puberty, and 75 percent of the cases typically resolve without treatment over a period of months.

What are the causes of gynecomastia?

In general, gynecomastia occurs from an imbalance of the two sex hormones. Men have both androgens (the hormones that control hair growth, regulate muscle size, and aid in the development of a deep voice), and estrogens (the hormone responsible for female characteristics). So, in general, estrogen levels are higher than androgens, causing a moderate increase in breast size. It is important to understand that over half of the male population develop gynecomastia during puberty.

Sometimes, gynecomastia is a result of side effects of certain medications, a natural decrease of testosterone in older males, or associated with diseases or metabolic disorders that affect male hormones.

Other causes of gynecomastia include:

  • Aging
  • Cancer chemotherapy
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Deficiency of testosterone
  • Exposure to anabolic steroid hormones
  • Exposure to estrogen hormone
  • Hormone treatment for prostate cancer
  • Kidney failure and dialysis
  • Marijuana use
  • Radiation treatment of the testicles
  • Side effects of some medications

What options are available to correct gynecomastia?

Targeted liposuction and or breast reduction surgery can be performed in order to remove or reduce the excess male breast tissue. Dr. Fiorillo will have a consultation with you and assess your situation to assist in determining what form of treatment is best for you.

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