5 Things to Ask Yourself if You Think You Have Gynecomastia
January 27, 2016
As a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in gynecomastia surgery, I ask patients certain questions during a consultation. This helps me try and figure out whether someone has gynecomastia and what the cause may be. Below is a list of 5 questions you should ask yourself if you think you have gynecomastia.
- When did I first notice it? If the answer is during puberty then you may have what is called physiologic gynecomastia. This occurs in up to 60% of males going through puberty. Although it gets better after 2-3 years in most males, in 2% of males it does not.
- Am I taking any medications? There is a long list of medications that can cause gynecomastia, from anti-depressants to heart medications to pills that grow hair.
- Do I or have I used steroids or testosterone boosters? This is a common cause of gynecomastia. The reason why steroids can cause gynecomastia is because the body will convert the excess testosterone you are injecting or swallowing into a secondary estrogen, which will then stimulate the breast tissue you have in your chest. Gynecomastia can occur even if you take estrogen blockers during or after a cycle.
- Does anyone in my family have gynecomastia? Gynecomastia may have a genetic component. Although not a common cause of gynecomastia, genetics can play a role.
- Is it getting bigger? If it came on during adulthood without any medical history or medication use, AND it’s getting bigger, you need to make sure the tissue is benign. This is done with a mammogram or ultrasound. Although the risk of breast cancer is extremely low in males, in certain cases it needs to be ruled out with an exam.
If after asking yourself these questions you feel you have gynecomastia, then seek consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in gynecomastia surgery.
To learn more about gynecomastia surgery and to see before and after photographs, visit www.losangelesgynecomastia.org.