More than one in four men may develop enlarged breasts at some point in their lifetime. Male breast enlargement is also known as gynecomastia or ‘man boobs’ and develops when glandular tissue located beneath the nipple begins to grow and develop leading to the appearance of male breasts which may take on a feminine appearance. Many men understandably develop a loss of self-confidence which leads them to book a gynecomastia consultation to determine if male chest reduction will flatten their chest. At the consultation with an expert gynecomastia Surgeon, many men are keen to know about the causes of gynecomastia that could apply to them.
Increasing age – although gynecomastia can occur at any point in life it tends to increase in prevalence as men get older. During the puberty phase, significant hormonal changes may result in the enlargement of male breast tissue and this is most commonly temporary and settles down completely with time. In a small number of cases, many men may find the changes are permanent and this is referred to as true gynecomastia. Gynecomastia which does not go away is often due to an underlying hormonal imbalance involving high levels of oestrogen compared with testosterone. In older men, the incidence of a Gynaecomastia begins to increase as testosterone levels begin to naturally decline when men reach their 40s and the higher oestrogen levels found in older men are associated with the formation of man boobs.
Steroids – many men who undertake bodybuilding in the gym may resort to using illegal recreational drugs including anabolic steroids to build muscle mass. Anabolic steroids are synthetic forms of the hormone testosterone which converts to oestrogen in the body. This hormonal imbalance between testosterone and oestrogen stimulates male breast development. Anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs are a significant problem with many men often denying their use. The rise of gynecomastia in younger men who carry out bodybuilding is on the rise and this is thought to be linked strongly with the use of anabolic steroids. Our surgeons will insist on full steroid abstinence before suggesting surgical treatment options for gynecomastia.
Hair loss medications – finasteride is a popular drug used to combat hair loss and is linked with the development of gynecomastia. The mechanism of action of many hair loss drugs involves a decrease in the formation of dihydrotestosterone from testosterone. This leads to an underlying reduction in testosterone levels which may trigger the development of moobs.
Testosterone supplements – many men take testosterone hormonal supplements or testosterone replacement therapy for boosting energy levels and libido however a side-effect of prolonged testosterone supplement is an increase in male breast development which may be temporary in nature. When taking hormonal therapy, oestrogen levels may increase alongside an increase in testosterone levels. Fortunately, this male breast growth should settle down completely once you have stopped testosterone treatment for at least six weeks.
Overweight and obesity – many men who are overweight or obese will accumulate excessive fat in the chest region. The result can be an enlargement in male breasts. This condition is most commonly referred to as pseudogynecomastia as the male breast enlargement is primarily due to an excess of fatty tissue and not true glandular enlargement. This type of breast enlargement is amenable to treatment with regular exercise and dieting but in some cases, the fatty tissue can be difficult to remove with diet and exercise alone. In these cases, liposuction is an ideal treatment for permanent removal of the excess fatty tissue which helps to control and sculpt the mail chest. Obese patients often have high circulating levels of leptin. Many obese men have leptin resistance as a result of high levels of leptin. This can result in a reduction in hormones secreted by the pituitary gland such as LH and FSH which are hormones designed to increase testosterone production. With a reduction in testosterone production, the levels of oestrogen may rise thus leading to the formation of gynecomastia.
Natural plant oils – a number of plant oil products contain substances that possess oestrogen like characteristics. These substances do not have to be taken orally to exert their effects with many products being applied topically to the skin which is then able to be absorbed by the body and then into the circulation. Your surgeon may ask you at your gynecomastia consultation if you are using certain plant oil products or are applying any male grooming products to the chest as some of these products may increase the risk of developing gynecomastia. If you are taking these products, your surgeon may recommend stopping them for at least six months before reassessing you. In some cases, a full resolution of your gynecomastia may be possible with this simple intervention alone.
Chronic liver disease or chronic kidney disease – patients suffering from chronic failure of the liver or kidneys are more prone to the development of gynecomastia as the formation of testosterone is decreased in both of these conditions. Patients with chronic liver disease have markedly impaired synthesis of many types of proteins including precursors which are responsible for the formation of testosterone. Most patients with chronic liver disease have reduced levels of testosterone as a result and oestrogen levels may begin to rise. Although gynecomastia is associated with chronic liver disease, it is not a recognised clinical feature of chronic liver disease with many other symptoms including jaundice being more characteristic of those who have liver disease.
Hormone secreting tumours – there are a number of different types of tumours including testicular tumours in men which may be responsible for increased secretion of certain hormones. Conversely, levels of testosterone may be reduced with an associated increase in oestrogen production resulting in gynecomastia. There are a number of rare tumours of the lung which may secrete HCG which mimics the action of LH thus increasing testosterone production but also simultaneously increasing oestrogen levels. The resulting hormonal imbalance is a recognised cause of gynecomastia.
Male chest reduction at Centre for Surgery
Centre for Surgery is the leading cosmetic surgery clinic in London with many years of experience in the treatment of both gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia using the safest and most effective surgical treatments. Men who are keen to get rid of man boobs commonly choose Centre for Surgery as we are renowned for the treatment of enlarged male breasts with patient satisfaction rates as high as 95% with hundreds of verified Google and Trustpilot reviews. The first step in the male breast reduction patient journey involves a detailed face-to-face consultation with your surgeon who will take a medical history and carry out a physical examination. In some cases, your surgeon may perform an ultrasound scan to rule out any cancerous changes, especially in cases of one-sided gynecomastia which is painful and has developed quickly.
Gynecomastia Surgery techniques:
Liposuction – most patients who have gynecomastia will have liposuction carried out first to remove excess fat deposits and contour the chest. Our surgeons use the power-assisted technique to more effectively break up the fat cells prior to the extraction. Fat tissue found in the chest is often more fibrous compared with other areas in the body and power-assisted liposuction is ideal for the treatment of gynecomastia.
Surgical removal – enlarged glandular tissue requires a minimally invasive surgical procedure for permanent and complete removal. Enlarged glands cannot be removed by Liposuction alone.
BodyTite – Radiofrequency skin tightening using BodyTite is a highly effective treatment for tightening the skin of the chest wall after liposuction without the need for the scars associated with excess skin removal surgery.
Patients choose us for the male chest reduction procedure based on our reputation as one of the best gynecomastia clinics in London.
- You will have your own dedicated patient coordinator to act as your point of contact throughout your patient journey with us at Centre for Surgery
- Our surgeons are well known for their expertise in the treatment of gynecomastia of all grades using gold standard surgical techniques
- Our post-operative nursing team are continuously available to answer any questions or queries you may have about healing after gynecomastia surgery
- Our gynaecomastia prices are both affordable and competitive with no hidden extras
- Our state of the art Baker Street clinic in central London is one of the finest surgery facilities dedicated to cosmetic surgery in the UK
Please get in touch with us today to book a face-to-face male breast reduction consultation with an expert surgeon at our Marylebone clinic.