Enlarged breasts in men (gynecomastia)
Most cases of gynecomastia resolve over time without treatment. However, if gynecomastia is caused by an underlying condition — such as hypogonadism, malnutrition or cirrhosis — that underlying condition may need treatment.
If you're taking medications that may be the cause of gynecomastia, your doctor may recommend stopping them or substituting another medication.
In adolescents with no apparent cause of gynecomastia other than normal hormone changes during puberty, the doctor may recommend periodic reevaluations every three to six months to see if the condition improves on its own. Gynecomastia in adolescents often goes away without treatment in less than two years.
Treatment may be necessary if gynecomastia doesn't improve on its own or if it causes significant pain, tenderness or embarrassment.
Medications used to treat breast cancer and other conditions may be helpful for some men with gynecomastia. They include:
- Tamoxifen (Soltamox)
- Aromatase inhibitors, such as anastrozole (Arimidex)
Although these medications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, they have not been approved specifically for use in people with gynecomastia.
Surgery to remove excess breast tissue
If enlarged breasts are significant and bothersome even after initial treatment or observation, your doctor may advise surgery.
Two gynecomastia surgery options are:
- Liposuction. This surgery removes breast fat but not the breast gland tissue itself.
- Mastectomy. This type of surgery removes the breast gland tissue. The surgery is often done using only small incisions. This less invasive type of surgery involves less recovery time.