Heads up, gents: you may want to check your chest area after reading this. If you’re suffering from the dreaded “man boobs”, it could reflect a medical condition more serious than you think.
While the topic of gynecomastia (enlarged male breasts) has its fair share of stigma, it affects almost 70 percent of adolescent boys, and 65 percent of middle-aged and older men.
Let's find out more from Dr Ivan Puah, Medical Director at Amaris B. Clinic.
So, what exactly is gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is a common medical condition where the male breast tissues increase in size. While it may be every woman’s dream to inherit a set of well-sculpted breasts, it is, however, a man’s nightmare to find a pair of “man boobs” hanging from his chest. For most men, gynecomastia robs their self-esteem and becomes a stumbling block in achieving a masculine physique. But it’s more than just the embarrassment of having a flabby chest that makes it a cause for concern. While it’s relatively common in adolescent boys going through puberty, it may also reflect serious medical conditions like testicular cancer.
What are the symptoms involved?
The main symptoms of gynecomastia include the enlargement of the glandular tissue in both breasts and a tenderness experienced around the breast and the nipple. There are a variety of reasons that contribute to gynecomastia. Ageing, side effects of medication, hormonal imbalance and a dip in testosterone level are common culprits for the condition.
Can it be treated?
While the symptoms are common during puberty due to hormonal changes, if they do not go away when one reaches adulthood, surgical intervention would be the answer to counter the condition. Not only does it permanently remove the excess glandular tissues, the surgery also sculpts the chest area, resulting in a more defined physique. The surgery has a short recovery time, too, thereby causing little disruption to your daily routine.
Gynecomastia surgery also requires a keen technical knowledge and artistic skill, so you’ll want to carefully research your options and your doctor’s experience, and plan when you’re having the surgery. During your consultation with your doctor, it’s essential to discuss your goals and raise any concerns you might have in regard to the procedure.