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How Common is Male Breast Enlargement?

Male breast enlargement is much more common than many men with the problem think. Also known as gynecomastia, the cause of this problem is related to the absolute and relative amounts of the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen that are being produced. Factors that can affect these levels include puberty, aging, medications, illicit drugs, alcohol, specific diseases and congenital defects.

During puberty when sex hormone levels are wildly fluctuating, around two thirds of boys will experience enlargement of their breasts to varying degrees. Of those who are affected with gynecomastia, around seventy five percent will fully resolve within two years and around ninety percent by three years. That means around ten percent of boys who experience enlarged breasts will have persistence of the problem making it a common issue.

As men get older, their production of testosterone decreases. By ages 40 to 50, it is not uncommon to see the onset of breast growth which becomes more substantial with time. Some estimates have as many as twenty five to forty percent of men between the ages of 50 and 80 with gynecomastia. This can be further exacerbated by medications used to treat medical problems common during this period in life such as for an enlarged prostate.

Men who are considerably overweight may also have enlargement of their breasts. This is often referred to as pseudogynecomastia as opposed to true gynecomastia but the outcome is the same. Weight loss alone may resolve much of the enlargement.

The treatment for male breast enlargement is with surgery and is usually very effective and successful.

For further information regarding the treatment of gynecomastia or any other cosmetic surgery procedure, please contact my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona