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Ultimate Guide to Gynecomastia Treatment

Mar 25, 2024

Gynecomastia, often perceived as a distressing condition, affects many individuals across the globe. This condition, characterized by the enlargement of breast tissue in males, can significantly impact one’s self-esteem and body image. A lot of patients come to us, inquiring about the best treatment for this condition. So we decided to come up with the a detailed blog to help you understand gynecomastia treatment.

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Let us begin.

What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is not a disease or illness but rather a physical condition resulting primarily from hormonal changes, obesity, certain medications, or underlying medical conditions. This imbalance in hormonal levels, particularly during puberty, can lead to the development of male breast tissue, resembling female breasts in appearance. Lifestyle choices can also contribute to the condition, exacerbating the psychological and physical discomfort experienced by sufferers.

Causes of Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia primarily stems from an imbalance between the hormones estrogen and testosterone. While both hormones are present in males and females, an increase in estrogen or a decrease in testosterone can trigger the development of excess breast tissue in males. This condition is characterized by the proliferation of both fatty and glandular tissue, leading to an enlarged chest that can resemble female breasts.


  • Hormonal Imbalances: The most common cause of gynecomastia is an imbalance between estrogen and testosterone. This can occur naturally during puberty, when hormones fluctuate, or as a result of aging, when testosterone levels tend to decrease.
  • Weight Gain: Increased body fat can lead to higher levels of estrogen, as fat tissue converts testosterone into estrogen. This can exacerbate the development of gynecomastia.
  • Medication Side Effects: Certain medications can influence hormone levels or directly cause breast tissue growth. These include drugs for treating prostate issues, some antibiotics, anti-anxiety medications, and treatments for HIV.
  • Recreational Drugs and Alcohol: The use of substances like marijuana, heroin, and excessive alcohol consumption can disrupt hormone levels and contribute to gynecomastia.
  • Medical Conditions: Health issues that affect hormone balance, such as liver disease, kidney failure, or thyroid disorders, can also lead to gynecomastia.
  • Genetics: In some cases, there may be a genetic predisposition to gynecomastia, making some individuals more susceptible to the condition regardless of external factors.

Non-Surgical Treatments for Gynecomastia

Non-surgical treatments for gynecomastia focus on mitigating the condition’s effects without resorting to surgery. These treatments can be particularly appealing for those with mild to moderate gynecomastia or psuedop gynaecomastia. The primary non-surgical options include:

  • Lifestyle Modifications
    Making changes to one’s diet and lifestyle can sometimes help reduce the appearance of gynecomastia. This includes adopting a healthy diet and regular exercise routine aimed at weight loss, which can decrease the amount of fatty tissue in the chest area. While these changes can be beneficial for overall health, they may not fully resolve gynecomastia, especially if glandular tissue is the primary cause.
  • Medication
    In some cases, medications can be prescribed to address the hormonal imbalances contributing to gynecomastia. These might include drugs that block estrogen effects in the body or medications intended for other conditions that have been found to help reduce breast tissue growth. It’s important to note that medication effectiveness can vary, and potential side effects should be discussed with a healthcare provider.
  • Exercise
    Specific exercises targeting the chest muscles can help improve the appearance of the chest area. While exercise alone cannot eliminate glandular tissue, building muscle can help create a more defined chest contour. It’s advisable to combine exercise with other treatments for more comprehensive results.

Surgical Treatments for Gynecomastia

Surgery remains the definitive treatment for gynecomastia, offering a permanent solution to those affected by the condition. The choice of surgical approach depends on the severity of gynecomastia and the nature of the breast tissue involved—whether it is predominantly fatty or glandular.


Liposuction is a technique used to remove excess fatty tissue from the chest area. This procedure is particularly effective in cases of gynecomastia mainly attributed to excess fat. During liposuction procedure, a small incision is made below armpit, through which a cannula (a thin tube) is inserted to vacuum out the fat tissue.

The benefits of liposuction include minimal invasiveness and a relatively quick recovery period. It gives more normal and flatter chest. As the tissue is removed permanently and its recurrence can be prevented. However, it may not be adequate for cases that involve a significant amount of glandular tissue.


Infiltration is a preparatory step in various liposuction techniques where a medicated solution is injected into the fatty tissue before removal. This solution often contains a local anesthetic and a vasoconstrictor to minimize bleeding and reduce pain. The infiltration process makes the fat tissue easier to break down and remove, enhancing the effectiveness and safety of the subsequent liposuction.

Ultrasonic Lipolysis

Ultrasonic lipolysis uses high-frequency ultrasound waves to liquefy fat cells before they are removed through liposuction. This method allows for the selective targeting of fat cells while preserving surrounding nerves and blood vessels, reducing post-operative pain and swelling. It is especially useful for treating dense, fibrous areas of fat, making it an effective option for some gynecomastia cases.

Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL)

Power-assisted liposuction utilizes a specialized cannula that moves in a rapid back-and-forth motion. This vibration helps to break up the fat cells more efficiently than traditional liposuction techniques. PAL can be particularly beneficial in removing larger volumes of fat with less physical effort from the surgeon, potentially leading to more precise results and a smoother recovery.

Gland Excision

For gynecomastia cases that involve a significant amount of glandular breast tissue, excision of the gland is necessary. This technique involves the surgical removal of glandular tissue, and, if required, excess skin, to achieve a flat chest appearance. Gland excision may be performed in conjunction with liposuction to ensure optimal aesthetic results. This approach is considered when liposuction alone is insufficient to remove the glandular tissue characteristic of gynecomastia.

Each of these surgical options has its specific indications, advantages, and limitations. The choice of procedure is tailored to the individual’s condition. Only a certified surgeon will decide the best approach for treatment.

 The Surgical Procedure

Gynecomastia surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia, lasting about one hour. The surgery involves:

  • Incision
    A key component of the surgical procedure is the strategic placement of incisions to minimize visible scarring. Common sites for incisions include the edge of the areola or under the armpit, allowing for the discreet removal of tissue.
  • Tissue Removal
    Through these incisions, the surgeon removes excess fatty and glandular tissue to create a more traditionally masculine chest contour. The extent of tissue removal depends on the volume of excess tissue and the desired outcome.
  • Recovery
    Post-operative recovery involves wearing a compression garment to reduce swelling and support the healing chest contour. Most patients can return to work and light activities within a week, with a gradual return to full activities, including exercise, over the following weeks to months.

Surgical treatment of gynecomastia offers a high satisfaction rate due to its immediate and permanent results. However, as with any surgery, there are risks involved, and a thorough consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon is essential to determine the best treatment plan for an individual’s needs and expectations.

 Benefits of Gynecomastia

  • Enhanced Chest Appearance: Surgery results in a more masculine and contoured chest, eliminating the swollen appearance.
  • Immediate Results: The changes in chest appearance are visible immediately after the swelling subsides, offering a quick transformation.
  • Long-Lasting Outcomes: The removal of excess tissue provides permanent results, ensuring the condition does not recur.
  • Boosted Confidence: Achieving a more traditional masculine chest appearance can significantly improve self-esteem and body image.
  • Reduced Physical Discomfort: Patients often report relief from the physical discomfort and skin irritation associated with excess breast tissue.
  • Minimal Scarring: Surgical techniques aim to minimize visible scarring, with incisions typically placed in less noticeable areas.

Considerations and Consultation

Choosing surgical treatment for gynecomastia is a personal decision that should be made after thorough research and consultation with a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon. Every case is unique, and a professional can provide tailored advice and guidance on the most appropriate treatment plan.

Wrapping up

Gynecomastia, while not a life-threatening condition, can have profound effects on an individual’s psychological well-being and quality of life. Understanding the condition, exploring treatment options, and consulting with healthcare professionals can empower those affected to make informed decisions and regain control over their appearance and self-esteem.

For treating your skin condition, feel free to get in touch with one of our best dermatologists in Pune. You can also call on +919584584111 to book an appointment at one of our skin clinics near you.


Dr Dhruv Chavan

About the Author: Dr Dhruv Chavan

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