Gynecomastia is a condition that commonly affects men of all ages and can be extremely distressing. It is characterized by the enlargement of male breast tissue, resulting in breasts that are larger than usual and can cause discomfort, embarrassment, and anxiety.
While excess fat in the breast tissue can result from being overweight, going through puberty, or taking certain medications or drugs, hormonal imbalances can also contribute to gynecomastia.
Additionally, specific illnesses can also be a potential cause of the condition.
If you are struggling with enlarged male breast tissue, start here with this Gynecomastia Guide. It will tell you everything you need to know about the condition.
Before treatment of gynecomastia can take place, it must be determined whether actual gynecomastia or “pseudogynecomastia” is the problem.
In other words, what is beneath the skin on the patient’s chest that is causing enlarged male breasts to appear larger-than-average?
This process often starts with a simple pinch test for gynecomastia.
The gynecomastia pinch test reveals what is beneath a patient’s breasts. This brief exam can be performed in-office and takes just a few moments.
The patient will be asked to take their shirt off, and the breasts (specifically around the areolae and nipples) will be palpated for any firm masses.
The test does not hurt, though it may be slightly uncomfortable for some patients, particularly because the nipple area can be uniquely sensitive and tender.
In fact, anyone can perform this test. For example, you could perform it on yourself to get a better idea of what is causing your gynecomastia. More often, however, a plastic surgeons will perform the test as a preliminary exam during your consultation appointment.
This generally involves your surgeon using their thumb and fingertips to press on and around the areolae and nipples.
An early stage gynecomastia pinch test will usually reveal whether the patient is struggling with gynecomastia or pseudogynecomastia.
When a plastic surgeon performs this test, they essentially want to know if the gynecomastia the patient is experiencing is caused by excess glandular tissue, fat (adipose tissue), or a combination of one or both breasts.
If excess of breast glandular tissue also is present, the surgeon will feel a small, hard lump beneath the nipple. If fat alone is present, the entire breast will feel soft and squishy when pressed. Often, both textures are felt.
“Pseudogynecomastia” is a term used for the condition of having excess adipose tissue (fat) in the breasts but no notable amount of excess glandular tissue (the hard lump).
It is that hard lump or small, firm mass that is associated with true gynecomastia only, but not pseudogynecomastia.
Still, if your gynecomastia surgery gynecomastia pinch test reveals pseudogynecomastia, don’t assume treatment isn’t available.
Many men diagnose gynecomastia struggle with pseudogynecomastia in the same way as men who have gynecomastia.
This often depends on what is causing the gynecomastia. For example, if a young man who is going through puberty has gynecomastia, this should almost never be treated surgically or with any type of drug for the simple reason that gynecomastia is a relatively normal occurrence during puberty.
Hormones are raging in full swing, and young men may simply be going through a phase of excess breast tissue, which will quickly disappear as they advance into manhood.
On the other hand, for a grown man who is struggling with this issue, the next probable area to examine is overall weight and body fat. If a man has a significant amount of universal body fat, they may want to attempt weight loss in order to reduce the size of their chest.
This is often an effective tactic. In addition, weightlifting and muscle building exercises can help to tighten the pectoral muscles and reduce the overall softness of the chest.
Lastly, gynecomastia or male breast reduction surgery can be treated with surgery. This is usually the best solution for patients who are fully grown, have a healthy body mass index, and do not have any notable hormonal imbalance or illnesses, which may be contributing to gynecomastia.
Gynecomastia surgery will reduce the overall size of male breasts. If fat alone is the cause of gynecomastia, simple liposuction can be used. More often than not, gynecomastia is a combination of excess adipose tissue (fat) and glandular breast tissue.
Glandular breast tissue cannot be removed via liposuction. It generally manifests as a small hard lump, which can range from the size of a walnut to the size of an egg. In addition to possible liposuction, breast cancer patients will also have these small round lumps removed via extremely small incisions made on the edge of each areola.
If you suspect that you have gynecomastia vs fat, there are a few ways you can check for it:
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor or healthcare provider. They can perform a physical exam and may order additional tests, such as a mammogram or blood test, to determine if you have gynecomastia and what the underlying cause pseudo gynecomastia may be.
The early stage gynecomastia pinch test is a physical examination technique used to detect the presence of male breast enlargement. In the early stages of gynecomastia, breast tissue may be present, but it is not always visible.
During the pinch test, the examiner will gently pinch the breast tissue between their fingers and thumbs to feel for any abnormal lumps or masses. This test is typically performed on both breasts, and it can be used to determine the size, location, and density of any breast tissue present.
The pinch test is a simple and non-invasive way to detect early-stage gynecomastia. If breast tissue is detected, further testing may be recommended to determine the underlying cause of the condition and to develop an appropriate treatment plan.
In general, gyno surgery is covered by insurance if it is deemed “medically necessary.”
A gynecomastia pinch test is a good preliminary exam for this condition. However, other blood tests, mammograms, CT scans, ultrasounds, etc. may need to be needed as well. You’ll need to see a surgeon to arrange these.
The best way to begin exploratory testing and preparations for gynecomastia surgery is to schedule a consultation appointment with a plastic surgeon who specializes in gynecomastia surgery. Dr. Aric Aghayan has been performing gynecomastia surgery for years and can help determine if are experiencing male breast enlargement.
To book a consultation with Dr. Aghayan today, please give our Portland, OR office a call.
Enjoy the pinnacle of cosmetic surgery expertise with board-certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Aric Aghayan at Après Plastic Surgery. With a legacy of over 1600 successful body contouring procedures, Dr. Aghayan stands as the foremost specialist in advanced body contouring technology and treatment options. Take the next big step on your beauty journey by scheduling a comprehensive plastic surgery consultation with Dr. Aghayan today.