Gynecomastia is a condition that leads to the overdevelopment and enlargement of male breast tissue and nipples. While this phenomenon can affect men of any age, it is frequently seen in older men and adolescents who have fluctuating hormone levels. Usually, gynecomastia is not a health concern, and sometimes it will resolve on its own. Nevertheless, some men may seek breast reduction surgery for aesthetic reasons, and also to reduce the weight-related back pain that sometimes accompanies it. Men in the Tampa, FL, area who are interested in this procedure are encouraged to consult with Dr. Daniel Greenwald, a board-certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in performing gynecomastia surgery and a wide variety of other cosmetic procedures.
Prior to recommending surgery to address gynecomastia, Dr. Greenwald will attempt to diagnose its root cause. This is important because the condition can sometimes be triggered by a serious underlying health condition, such as hyperthyroidism or cirrhosis of the liver, that requires treatment.
Several other factors can contribute to the development of excess breast tissue in men. For instance, gynecomastia may result from:
- Excess body weight – Pockets of fat can sometimes settle under a man’s nipples and elsewhere in the chest area. Additionally, an overall increase in the ratio of fatty tissue to lean tissue can cause a man’s body to produce too much estrogen and not enough androgens, such as testosterone. Estrogen, a female hormone, controls female traits, including breast enlargement (gynecomastia in men), and androgens are male hormones that affect everything from the reproductive system and sexuality to physical traits and muscle mass.
- Hormone therapy and medications – Certain antidepressants, antibiotics, blood pressure medications, amphetamines, and other drugs can potentially raise a man’s estrogen level.
- Anabolic steroid use – Anabolic steroids contain high levels of androgens, such as testosterone, which can cause a man’s body to respond by increasing its estrogen level.
- Alcohol use – Excessive drinking can impair the liver’s ability to rid the body of excess estrogen.
- Tobacco use – Smoking can cause a variety of hormone-producing cancers.
While treating patients in Tampa, Florida, Dr. Greenwald sometimes finds that gynecomastia cannot be traced to any identifiable cause. Whether or not this is the case, Dr. Greenwald may recommend that a man make certain lifestyle changes before considering gynecomastia surgery. Over time, some men are able to achieve the results they are looking for through weight loss and other conservative methods, and thus eliminate the need for surgical intervention to address the effects of gynecomastia.
Men who decide to proceed with gynecomastia surgery can feel confident entrusting their care to Dr. Greenwald, who is recognized by the Consumers’ Research Council of America as one of the Best Doctors in America. To schedule a consultation at his office in Tampa, FL, call Bayshore Plastic Surgery at 1-888-840-3199.