What is gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is the overgrowth of male breast tissue. Typically, all men have some amount of this tissue, but in some cases it grows excessively. This problem is common in adolescent boys and older men.

What causes gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia can be caused by benign hormonal changes during puberty, endocrine gland dysfunction, diseases that affect hormone balance, chromosomal abnormalities, and side effects from some medications.

How do you know when it is appropriate to treat gynecomastia?

About 90% of adolescent gynecomastia cases resolve themselves without a need for treatment. If the condition remains a problem for an adolescent male after about two-years, it is likely that surgical treatment will be required because medication alone will not reverse the problem.

What happens during gynecomastia surgery?

The most commonly-done procedure combines excision of glandular tissue in the breasts with liposuction to remove excess fat. An incision is made around the areola (pigmented skin) that surrounds the nipple. Excess skin may be removed, but in many cases skin removal is not necessary. Gynecomastia surgery is performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis.

What happens during recovery from gynecomastia surgery?

Drains may be placed to discourage fluid collection and will be removed the next day. Discomfort is mild to moderate for most men but is controlled by medication. For the first four weeks, a compression garment is worn twenty four hours a day. It is then worn only at night for an additional four weeks.