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Gynecomastia

Frederick H Watkins, MD

Plastic Surgeon & Cosmetic Surgeon located in Rockville, MD & McLean, VA

Gynecomastia, or swollen breast tissue, is more common than many people think, and can be embarrassing to men and boys who experience the condition. Fortunately, Frederick H. Watkins, MD, has the skill and experience needed to refine the contouring of your chest and restore your confidence. If you live in or around Rockville, Maryland, or McLean, Virginia, call or schedule an appointment online to learn more.

Gynecomastia Q & A

What is gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is a condition in which men and boys experience swollen breast tissue. The issue arises during infancy, puberty, or later in life. In young children, the condition usually resolves itself, but as you age, changes in breast tissue are more difficult to resolve. 

There’s no need to worry about negative health ramifications from gynecomastia, as the condition is not harmful. However, swollen breast tissue makes it hard to feel confident about your body, and is sometimes difficult to conceal with clothing.

Symptoms of gynecomastia include pain or tenderness in your breast tissue. Some men also experience nipple discharge, which can occur in one or both breasts. 

What causes gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is caused by a hormonal imbalance in which a man has too much estrogen in relation to testosterone. This can occur in a number of different ways. Some of the causes of gynecomastia include:

  • Medications, including certain antibiotics, antidepressants, heart medications, and cancer drugs
  • Illegal drugs, including heroin, methadone, and marijuana
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Hypogonadism, or testosterone deficiency
  • Tumors in the testes, pituitary glands, or adrenal glands
  • Kidney failure
  • Malnutrition
  • Liver failure
  • Certain herbal products

Gynecomastia is most common during adolescence and after the age of 50. If you notice changes in your breast tissue, schedule a consultation with Dr. Watkins to discuss treatment options. 

What can be done to treat gynecomastia?

For some men, slight swelling in breast tissue is easy to conceal under clothing or with special compression garments. In other cases, there’s enough excess tissue that surgery is the best treatment path. 

Dr. Watkins restores optimal chest contouring using liposuction, direct tissue excision, or a combination of the two approaches. During your initial consultation, he’ll discuss your options and which approach is best suited for your needs. 

Liposuction is a surgical procedure in which excess fat is loosened and suctioned from your body. Once removed, those cells do not regenerate. 

Direct tissue excision is the surgical removal of excess breast gland tissue. Incisions will depend on the degree of tissue excess and will be discussed at the time of consultation.  

If you’re troubled by swollen breast tissue and searching for treatment options, schedule a time to sit down with Dr. Watkins to explore various treatment paths. Online scheduling makes it easy to find a time that fits your busy life, or you’re always welcome to call or stop by the office to set up your visit.