What are enlarged breasts in men?: Gynecomastia surgery, Causes, and Symptoms

Gynecomastia surgery

What are enlarged breasts in men?: Gynecomastia surgery, Causes, and Symptoms

The condition of enlarged breasts (gynecomastia) is common among boys and men. The breasts become abnormally large and swollen due to the development of breast glands in men which generally are tiny and inactive.

The condition of breast enlargement may affect the newborns, the boys during puberty stage, or elderly men.

Ask Dr. Amit Gupta

According to reports, 10%-20% of gynecomastia occurs due to the use of certain medicines and unverified herbal products.

Sometimes, there can be uneven breast growth on either side that can lead to physical embarrassment.

The swollen breasts are not built up due to the deposition of fatty tissues, therefore cannot be treated with exercise and diet.

In more than 90% of cases, gynecomastia gets treated on its own within a few weeks to 3 years time span. But, if it persists longer, there are treatments through surgery and medications.

Causes of Gynecomastia

There are a number of factors that lead to gynecomastia but the most common reason is hormonal imbalance. It occurs due to abnormal development of estrogens in men (which generally are recessive/inactive). The other determining factors can be as follows:

  • Intake of drugs and alcohol
  • Laser treatment of testicles
  • Certain liver and kidney diseases
  • Tumors of testes, pituitary gland, or adrenal
  • Intake of certain medicines (mentioned below)

Medications that can lead to gynecomastia are:

  • Tricyclic anti-depressants
  • Certain HIV medicines
  • Chemotherapy
  • Anabolic steroids and anti-androgens
  • Ulcer medicines
  • Use of herbal shampoos and soaps
  • Tea-tree oil and lavender oil
  • Antibiotics
  • Cancer treatment

Health conditions that can lead to gynecomastia:

  • Ageing
  • Malnutrition
  • Tumors
  • Liver failure
  • Starvation
  • Hypogonadism


There are visible symptoms of gynecomastia.

  • Swollen breasts tissues
  • Pain in breast
  • Breast tenderness
  • Nipple discharge

How can you prevent these symptoms?’

Studies say that 25% of reasons for gynecomastia occurrence are not known but others suggest to:

  • Avoid drugs and alcohol
  • Review your medicines before use

Diagnosis of Gynecomastia

For the diagnosis, you will be asked about the symptoms, family’s medical history, drug & alcohol history.

In case of hormonal imbalance, the doctor would advise you to let it cure naturally but the occurrence of cysts, lumps, and tenderness are recommended to be checked through a biopsy to rule out the possibility of breast cancer.

You will also be required to take blood tests and certain imaging tests (mammograms, MRI scans, chest X-ray, ultrasound for testicles).

Also, Read More – How to Know if You Have Gynecomastia


In more than 90% of cases, gynecomastia goes away on its own. For abnormal cases of tenderness and lump formation, medication is prescribed.

Surgical treatment is very rare but the options are breast reduction surgery or hormone therapy to block the development of estrogens.

There are a number of qualified surgeons that get you treated through a reasonable gynecomastia surgery cost in India.

Wrapping up:

Gynecomastia is not a serious issue and its treatment is also simple and sure. It is not connected to any serious condition or disease but in rare cases, an abnormal buildup of gynecomastia can lead to the risk of breast cancer in men.

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