Gynecomastia is a medical condition that occurs in men. It is caused due to a hormonal imbalance in the body as a result of which breasts become enlarged in men giving it a feminine look. It is a major cause of embarrassment and lower self-esteem in men. It can occur at various stages of development starting from puberty. It can also be affected by medical conditions which create imbalance in the level of hormones. When gynecomastia is caused due to enlarging of glandular tissue, it is called ’true gynecomastia’ and when it is caused due to the deposition of fat tissue in the breast area, it is known as pseudo gynecomastia.

Symptoms of Gynecomastia

  • The most characteristic symptom is breast enlargement. The enlargement is usually symmetrical.
  • The nipple has a stiff feel.
  • Sensitive and tender breasts
If these symptoms are accompanied with nipple discharge, pain or dimpling of the skin, consult your doctor immediately. Such symptoms may be indicating male breast cancer for which proper diagnosis needs to be done.

Causes of Gynecomastia

The most important cause of gynecomastia is imbalance of hormonal levels. The two hormones : testosterone and estrogen are the hormones that control the male and female sexual characteristics respectively. Both the hormones are present in both the genders; females possess more of estrogen as compared to testosterone and males possess more of testosterone as compared to estrogen. When in men, the estrogen levels exceed that of the testosterone levels, there is an imbalance in the male body and thus it results in the enlargement of breasts in them.

Gynecomastia usually starts during puberty, which is quite common and in this case the swollen tissue goes away on its own within 6 months to two years. It is more prevalent in men between the ages of 50 and 69.

It may also occur as a side effect of other health conditions such as hypogonadism, aging, tumours, kidney failure, hyperthyroidism, liver failure, malnutrition etc or as a result of medicines such as steroids, antidepressants, antibiotics, cancer, heart and ulcer medications. Drugs and alcohol are also known to cause gynecomastia.

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The condition of gynecomastia doesn’t require any treatment if it occurs in teenage boys, it is a normal change that occurs due to the activity of the various hormone changes occurring during puberty. The enlargement of the breast tissue may cause some pain but it can be relieved by over the counter medicines such as ibuprofen. The condition subsides in around 6 months or maximum two years.

If caused due to medications or drugs, you will notice that the swelling subsides once you stop consuming the medicines.

When the cause of gynecomastia is an underlying disease, the specific disease needs to controlled first in order to eradicate the secondary condition.

If no significant cause is diagnosed, one may chose to undergo a cosmetic surgery technically known as ‘reduction mammoplasty’ to remove the tissue that is causing the swelling. The breast reduction surgery is quite effective if you really want to get rid of the extra tissue.

Gynecomastia Surgery Cost

In India, the surgery for gynecomastia ranges from Rs 40,000 to Rs 80,000 but there is no
fixed cost as the cost varies according to location and the surgeon performing the operation.


All kinds of surgeries are associated with risks and therefore, the written permission of the person concerned is taken before the procedure. Some common risks related to gynecomastia surgery will include:
  • Infection
  • Fat necrosis
  • Irregularity in reshaping
  • Bleeding and blood clots
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Pain
  • Slow recovery
  • Unwanted scarring of skin


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