Excess breast tissue or enlarged breasts occurs in some men due to several reasons and becomes similar to the appearance of female breasts. This enlargement of a man’s chest is medically known as gynecomastia. Gynecomastia or “man boobs” is the excessive growth of breast tissue in men and is caused by high levels of the female hormone estrogen. The root cause of excess estrogen can be medication side effects, a pre-existing medical condition or a genetic disorder. It is normal for all men to have a certain amount of estrogen in their body. With this condition, there is an abnormal and excessive level of the estrogen hormones.

Generally, gynecomastia isn’t a serious problem, but it can be tough to cope with the condition. If you are embarrassed by the appearance of your man boobs, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kole to discuss your options.

Do You Have Man Boobs?

Signs and symptoms of gynecomastia include:

  • Swollen breast gland tissue
  • Breast tenderness

What are the Causes of Gynecomastia?

  • Medications – Several medications can cause gynecomastia. Some of the medications that can cause man boobs are: anabolic steroids, AIDS medications, anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, antibiotics, ulcer medications, chemotherapy, and heart medications.
  • Street drugs and alcohol – illegal drugs such as amphetamines, marijuana, heroin and methadone, have all been reported to increase male breast tissue in chronic users.
  • Health conditions – conditions such as hypogonadism or any of the conditions that interfere with normal testosterone production.
  • Aging – Hormone changes that occur with normal aging can cause gynecomastia, especially in men who are overweight.
  • Tumors – Some tumors, such as those involving the testes, adrenal glands or pituitary gland, can produce hormones that alter the male-female hormone balance.
  • Hyperthyroidism – In this condition, the thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine.
  • Kidney failure – About half the people being treated with regular hemodialysis experience gynecomastia due to hormonal changes.
  • Liver failure and cirrhosis – Hormonal fluctuations related to liver problems as well as medications taken for cirrhosis are associated with gynecomastia.
  • Malnutrition and starvation – When your body is deprived of adequate nutrition, testosterone levels drop, but estrogen levels remain constant, causing a hormonal imbalance.

What Do I Do Next?

If you are considering gynecomastia surgery, contact The Kole Plastic Surgery Center to schedule a complimentary consultation. The Kole Plastic Surgery Center is Pennsylvania’s premier plastic surgery provider and welcomes patients from Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.