Gynecomastia is a medical term used to describe breast enlargement in males. The
shape of the enlarged breast may take on a feminine appearance. Gynecomastia affects about half the male
population, and may affect one or both breasts. If gynecomastia occurs in teenage boys the condition is
physiological and usually resolves within a year but it some cases may persist and require surgery. Certain
medications such as anabolic steroids used by body builders and medical problems such as liver or endocrine
abnormalities may cause gynecomastia or enlargement of the male breast but in most cases there is no known
A mammogram helps to determine the type of tissue involved with the gynecomastia or
breast enlargement and rule out a rare breast carcinoma.
Plastic surgery to treat gynecomastia involves the removal of the breast tissue
along with some fatty tissue through an incision that goes around a portion of the nipple-areolar complex. If
gynecomastia is primarily due to fatty tissue liposuction is the preferred treatment. For about three weeks after
the surgery for gynecomastia, the patient wears a compression vest to control swelling.
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