gynecomastiaEvidently, common attitudes and perceptions regarding male breasts have changed; what was once a relatively obscure condition is now approaching the level of pop culture phenomenon.

Journalist Finlo Rohrer of the BBC suggests that tabloid scrutinization of celebrities – has popularized the concept of ‘man boobs.’ During the summer of 06, Tony Blair and UK conservative party leader, David Cameron, were pictured shirtless, which led several media outlets to “comment on their moobs.” Other media, such as the popular blog, poke fun at the concept. According to Rorher, attitudes like these may cause more men to seek the help of a plastic surgeon.

So what is the deal with male breasts? Here are a few things you might not know:

  • Gynecomastia that forms breast tissue in males, is a relatively common condition, often mistaken for simple excess fat. It can affect newborns, pubescent boys, and adults. While it isn’t serious (unless it is a sign of something else), it can be painful and embarrassing.
  • While obesity will often cause a condition of excess breast tissue, real gynecomastia is caused by a hormone imbalance. In either case, surgery can alleviate the symptoms.
  • Illegal drugs like marijuana and anabolic steroids can cause gynecomastia. Medications that are used during treatment for prostate cancer are also to blame.
  • Gynecomastia may also be caused by genetic conditions like Klinefelter’s Syndrome.
  • Surgery isn’t the only option: in cases of pubertal gynecomastia, the condition will often disappear over time or when puberty is over. Other cases have shown improvement without any interventions; one case published in the June 2008 issue of Endocrine Practices documents a rare case of bilateral gynecomastia in a 60 year old man. The patient’s examination results were normal, but he reported a daily intake of 3 qts soy milk. Once the patient ceased his intake of soy milk, his condition improved and his hormone imbalance was resolved.

Underlying issues like hormone imbalance and obesity should always be addressed. After that point, many patients opt for surgery to restore a natural masculine appearance. If you are interested in learning more about male breast reduction, contact us for a consultation.