Adult Gynecomastia (aka Man Boobs)

Philadelphia male breast reduction surgeon Dr. Adrian Lo, MD, FACS, FRCS (C), treats many men from age 18 to 65 with gynecomastia. Despite a healthy and active lifestyle, many men find that their enlarged breasts do not improve or go away, and seek options for gynecomastia treatment. Men begin to explore treatments for permanent removal of the extra breast tissue such as male breast reduction surgery. Read on for information about adult gynecomastia: what it is, what causes it and how Dr. Lo can surgically correct it.


What Is Adult Gynecomastia? Learn how to fix, or correct, Man Boobs.

It may surprise you to know that not all adult men with enlarged breasts suffer from the same condition. True gynecomastia describes enlarged breast, or glandular, tissue in males. In contrast, pseudogynecomastia describes enlarged fat tissue in males’ breast area. However, both conditions result in the appearance of “moobs” or “man boobs.” Pseudogynecomastia is most commonly associated with substantial weight gain or weight fluctuations, and may develop at anytime. On the other hand, true gynecomastia may first appear in adolescent males and continue into their later years. A number of possible factors may trigger gynecomastia in men once they have already reached adulthood. The exact cause of adult gynecomastia can be hard to pinpoint. However, the following is a list of possible causes of gynecomastia.

Adult Gynecomastia

Adult Gynecomastia

What Causes Adult Gynecomastia?

There are numerous potential causes of adult gynecomastia, some of which may be hard to identify. Nonetheless, recent medical research reveals that gynecomastia is most commonly caused by one of the following:

  • No discernible abnormality: 25 percent
  • Chronic adolescent gynecomastia: 25 percent
  • Drug-activated: 10 to 25 percent
  • Testicular atrophy (i.e., primary hypogonadism, or primary testicular failure, resulting from a problem with the testicles): 8 percent
  • Liver malnutrition and disease: 8 percent
  • Testicular tumors: 3 percent
  • Secondary hypogonadism, resulting from a problem with the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland: 2 percent
  • Hypothyroidism (i.e., underactive thyroid gland): 1.5 percent

As you can see, 25 percent of gynecomastia cases are due to unknown causes. Another 25 percent are due to adolescent gynecomastia that has persisted into adulthood. Most of the other cases of gynecomastia are induced by either drugs or hormones. Certain drugs, including anabolic steroids, marijuana and even some over-the-counter medications, are a common cause of the condition. Not to mention, as men age, testosterone is more frequently converted to estrogen. This gradual decline in testosterone is the cause of many hormone-induced gynecomastia cases in older men. Dr. Lo has treated gynecomastia patients as old as 65 years of age. It is also worth mentioning that male breast cancer is sometimes associated with gynecomastia. There is no direct causal relationship between the two — gynecomastia does not cause cancer — but a hormone imbalance that causes gynecomastia may also be the culprit behind breast cancer. However, most men with gynecomastia that develop breast cancer are either younger males or older men over the age of 60. Dr. Lo always sends the breast tissue to be examined and our patients receive a copy of the report with the results from pathology. This is a fee the patient pays, usually around $150.

How Can Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon Dr. Adrian Lo Correct it?

Dr. Lo corrects adult pseudogynecomastia, or enlarged fatty tissue in the breast area, with liposuction. He is an expert in tumescent, ultrasonic and power-assisted liposuction. Dr. Lo will discuss these liposuction techniques with you during your consultation and will recommend the best course of action to suit your unique anatomy and surgical goals. To treat true adult gynecomastia, Dr. Lo performs male breast reduction surgery, medically known as subcutaneous mastectomy. He surgically removes excess breast, or glandular, tissue, also excising any extra skin if necessary, during the procedure. Most male gynecomastia patients that are evaluated by Dr. Lo, have a combination of fatty and glandular tissue. These patients will need both liposuction and subcutaneous mastectomy to provide the best contour throughout the chest area. This will remove all the excess breast tissue and result in a flat chest, flat nipple area that is no longer puffy and allow the contour and shape of the pectoralis muscle to be seen. In addition, Dr. Lo may find it necessary to excise excess skin in the chest area to provide optimum aesthetic results. In doing so, he can provide a certain degree of lift throughout the treated area for a smoother chest contour. Dr. Lo will discuss all gynecomastia treatment options with you during consultation and advise the best course of action to fit your individual needs and physique. To find out more about adult gynecomastia or teen gynecomastia, or to schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Lo, please contact his office by calling (215) 829-6900.

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