Gynaecomastia is a medical term describing excessive growth of breast tissue in men. It is an exclusively male disease and refers to an abnormal growth of the glandular tissue in male breasts and excessive development of the male mammary gland.

The condition is clinically diagnosed by the presence of a rubbery or firm mass that extends concentrically from the nipples.

Causes of gynaecomastia

As breast growth is controlled by female hormones, oestrogen, men suffering from gynaecomastia are also typically suffering from a hormone imbalance. This can be caused by a number of factors, from teenage hormone disruption to obesity. Gynaecomastia can also be a symptom of other underlying health problems, and sufferers should consult a doctor to ensure they are not suffering from additional medical conditions.

Gynaecomastia can leave fat deposits in the breast that are resistant to diet and exercise, meaning it can be hard for men to tackle the problem without help.

Treatment for gynaecomastia

The symptoms of gynaecomastia can be treated with procedures such as male chest reduction surgery. This treatment is on the rise, as 40 to 60 per cent of men are said to be suffering from excessively large breasts, sometimes referred to as "man boobs". Rapid weight loss can sometimes leave sagging skin that makes the chest look more pronounced, but while this can contribute to the noticeable effect of gynaecomastia it is not the same thing as the condition itself - this is referred to as chest ptosis.

Chest reduction surgery can remove the excess fat and leave the chest flatter and firmer. Many sufferers of gynaecomastia look into breast reductions to return their figures to the way they looked before developing the condition.

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