Gynecomastia is a condition that can happen to men of any age.

Put simply, gynecomastia is caused by an imbalance of hormones in the body. When estrogen is out of balance with testosterone, male breasts can begin to develop like a female’s.

The best way to treat this condition is to fix the underlying hormonal problem.

Over time, in most cases, the breast tissue will shrink again to look like normal male breasts. However, this can take weeks or even years depending on how long and severe the condition was. Also, for prolonged cases, gynecomastia can stretch the skin of the breast to make male nipples look misshapen once they shrink again.

When it first appears, it can be quite frightening because it will feel like a tender lump in the breast area, which is also a classic sign of breast cancer. While swollen breast tissue from gynecomastia can be tender to the touch, the condition is physically harmless. However, it can be devastating emotionally, especially for teens. The hormonal changes that happen during puberty can trigger gynecomastia. Older men can also develop it as their testosterone levels start to drop due to age.

Gynecomastia can be triggered by drug use, especially anabolic steroids or androgens. There are also medications that treat other conditions that can cause it to happen. Plant oils that act like estrogen that can trigger the condition as well.

Once the underlying hormonal issue is corrected, a plastic surgeon can help remove excess breast tissue and fix the appearance of male breasts.

Done well, this can remove all evidence of gynecomastia. This is done through surgical procedures that remove fatty buildup, remove excess breast tissue, and reshape the breast to better fit a masculine size.

A good candidate for the surgery is someone who doesn’t use drugs, whose breasts have stopped growing, and who have failed to respond to other treatments. It also helps to have a normal weight. Obese men may grow breasts due to the presence of too much fatty tissue in the body, which can trigger estrogen release. Your surgeon can discuss all of the necessary qualifications, risks, and general outcomes of gynecomastia surgery.

This is a general surgical procedure, so you will be put under general anesthesia. You will also have to take care of the surgical site until you’re fully recovered. There may be stitches or stents to deal with that require follow-up procedures for removal. While the surgery results will be immediate, it may take several months before your chest settles into its new shape.

For men who are suffering from gynecomastia, it can feel quite shameful to start developing female characteristics. However, it is quite treatable with a combination of plastic surgery and addressing the underlying hormonal imbalance. If you believe that your chest is starting to look like breasts, or starts to feel tender to the touch, speak with a plastic surgeon for a consultation. They can rule out something serious like cancer, then discuss ways you can get rid of your excess breast tissue.