The term gynecomastia is formed by combining two words of Latin origin: gyneko (woman) and masti (breast). Gynecomastia literally means “female breast”. The appropriate equivalent of this word when translated into Turkish would be “female type breast”. In today’s literature, female type breast that can be seen in men is called gynecomastia. This can be unilateral or bilateral. A significant breast size will deeply affect a man’s social and psychological life. So, exactly for what reason or reasons does gynecomastia occur?
Causes of Gynecomastia
There may be various reasons for the development of gynecomastia. Hormonal disorders and some regularly used drugs can cause the development of gynecomastia. In addition to chronic liver, thyroid and kidney diseases, cirrhosis and drug use are among the causes of gynecomastia. Steroids and similar drugs taken to gain weight and look muscular are also the cause of gynecomastia. Finally, it should not be forgotten that some types of hormone-secreting cancers or direct male type breast cancer may also cause gynecomastia. However, most of the time, the cause of gynecomastia is idiopathic, that is, the cause cannot be found.
Types of Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia may originate from breast tissue (glandular gynecomastia), adipose tissue (lipomatous, pseudo-gynecomastia) or both tissues (mixed type gynecomastia). The number of mixed gynecomastia in the community is higher than the other two groups of gynecomastia. Since understanding from which tissue or tissues the gynecomastia originates will determine the treatment plan, Assoc.
Gynecomastia Occurrence Times
Gynecomastia is more common in men in all three stages of life. Transient gynecomastia can be seen in babies due to estrogen hormones passed from the mother. Follow-up is sufficient for treatment. Transient gynecomastia can be seen in adolescence due to hormonal reasons. This type of gynecomastia usually disappears in 18 months. The third time of occurrence is adulthood. This type is most often treated with surgery.
Investigation of the underlying cause in the treatment of gynecomastia is necessary for the complete and appropriate treatment. The most appropriate treatment for a gynecomastia rich in adipose tissue will be liposuction. In this process, the fat in the breast is taken out by entering two holes of 1 cm in each breast. Normal liposuction may be insufficient in breast tissue-rich type gynecomastia. In this case, special tips may be required to divide the breast tissue and take it out. In very advanced cases, it may be necessary to remove the tissues through a small hole called “pull through”. Again, in cases with severe excess skin, skin tightening can be achieved with VASER or Laser liposuction system. Sometimes, all these are not enough, and in very advanced cases, direct skin removal may be required along with the breast tissue. In relatively small, oily breasts, the local numbing and sedation procedure is sufficient for patient comfort and the success of the procedure, while general anesthesia is preferred for larger breasts or with more breast tissue. If your procedure was performed with local anesthesia or sedation, it is possible to be discharged on the same day. If your procedure was performed with general anesthesia, it is recommended to stay in the hospital for 1 night.
“High Definition” Gynecomastia Treatment
In this technique, in addition to gynecomastia treatment, tissues can be reshaped to provide a muscular appearance. However, for this process, your tissues must first be suitable. Technically, VASER or Laser liposuction methods can be used for this purpose.
Recovery after gynecomastia surgery is quite fast. The operation takes an average of 1-1.5 hours. After your procedure is finished, a bandage is wrapped around your chest area. This bandage is replaced with a special corset the next day. You will be asked to continue using the corset for the next 1 month. Your return to your normal life will take approximately 3 to 5 days. However, if you are doing sports actively, you may need to stay away from this activity for 1 month. In the 6th month after the operation, your recovery will be completed, your edema will have passed, and your result will be clear.
Some custom-made clothes are designed to hide the gynecomastia condition. After wearing these corsets, people who suffer from gynecomastia can comfortably wear whatever they want. However, such clothes can temporarily hide gynecomastia. It is not possible to wear this type of clothing on the seaside in summer.
Can Gynecomastia Be Treated With Medication?
If the factor causing gynecomastia can be determined, treatment of this condition may lead to regression in gynecomastia. In the presence of a hormonal imbalance, gynecomastia can be partially treated with the use of anti-estrogen medication. The use of this type of drug must be accompanied by an endocrinologist (hormone diseases specialist). However, in 80% of the patients, this regression is not complete and does not eliminate the need for surgery.
Does Breast Growth Recur After Gynecomastia Surgery?
Since the excess breast tissue is completely removed with this surgery, recurrence is not expected. However, if the person gains serious weight such as 20-30 kilos after the surgery, a similar situation may occur as the fat accumulation will occur in this region along with the whole body. Therefore, care should be taken not to gain excessive weight after the operation.
What is the Appropriate Age for Gynecomastia Surgery?
The earliest age for this surgery is 17. Because, as we mentioned above, gynecomastia that develops during adolescence until this age may regress on its own and may not require any treatment.
Risks of Presence of Gynecomastia
In the long term, gynecomastia has no risk other than aesthetic problems, except for the risk of accompanying breast cancer due to the increase in breast tissue. On the other hand, the risk of breast cancer increases 10 to 20 times in Klinefelter syndrome.