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Gynaecomastia Treatment
Causes of Gynaecomastia

Causes of Gynaecomastia

Causes of Gynaecomastia

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Enlarged breasts in male patients can be problematic. Unfortunately, it is a common problem that can have a variety of causes. This underlying cause must be eliminated to tackle the condition. Therefore, it is important to be fully informed about the possible causes of gynaecomastia also known as gynecomastia. To discover the gynaecomastia causes, please read our information below.

Hormonal Changes

One of the most common gynaecomastia causes are hormonal changes, more specifically fluctuations of sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen. These hormones are responsible for the development and the maintenance of gender characteristics in both men and women, so if this balance is off, the man may develop some female traits and the woman male traits.

When the levels of oestrogen in a man’s body increase, or the levels of testosterone decrease, it can lead to the development of female traits; this includes the growth of the breasts. So, if hormonal changes are at the base of gynaecomastia, the hormonal imbalance must be treated before further treatment can be considered.

Gynaecomastia Causes

Gynaecomastia Causes From Medications

There are certain medications that may cause the growth of breast tissue. One of the most common medications that are known to have this effect are anti-androgens, which are medications used for the treatment of prostate cancer and prostate enlargements.

The medications that can affect the growth of breast tissue are not limited to anti-androgens, because side-effects such as gynaecomastia have also been reported with the use of aids medication, anti-anxiety medication, tricyclic antidepressants, antibiotics, ulcer medications, chemotherapy, heart medications, gastric motility medications and more. Medications that have been linked to increased gland tissue and breast growth in adult men also include valium, diazepam, flutamide, methadone, digoxin, aldactone, finasteride, metronidazole, cimetidine, ketoconazole, calcium channel blockers, spironolactone and tamoxifen. Please note that this list is not limited and that more medications have been linked to breast enlargement in men. 

If you believe medications you are taking could be the cause of your problem, please contact your doctor to discuss possible alternatives. In some cases, your local doctor can provide you with a similar medication that treats the condition you are taking it for, but does not cause a side-effect such as gynaecomastia.

Illegal Drugs and Alcohol

Poor lifestyle choices can have devastating consequences and endanger your health. They can also lead to side-effects such as enlarged male breasts, because excessive use of alcohol and illegal drugs have been named as a cause of gynecomastia too. Anabolic steroids and amphetamines have been shown to be a big contributor to the condition. Even though these substances are illegal, it is not uncommon for patients to experience the condition because of the use of anabolic steroids in their past. This is again proof that a healthy lifestyle is important for the aesthetics of the body.

Discover Gynaecomastia Causes!

An increasingly large amount of patients now opt for a Gynaecomastia procedure, especially if the causes of gynecomastia lead to that treatment. Man boob surgery is executed by inserting a small cannula through the incision area and remove the excess tissue with gentle suction.

If you’re looking to remove fat from the breast, get a free consultation of the gynaecomastia causes at Melbourne clinic with Dr Lanzer.

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Personal Grooming Products

Certain products, including shampoos, soaps and certain lotions, have been associated with enlarged male breasts. Even though scientists have not found an exact cause for the effect these products have on the male body, they believe it may be caused by the weak estrogenic activity the products in question have.

Underlying Medical Conditions

An underlying medical condition can also be a cause of excess tissue in the male breasts. Below, you will find an overview of medical conditions that could lead to the development of gynaecomastia.


Hypogonadism is a condition that reduces the functional activity of the testes in males. Therefore, this leads to a reduction in the production of sex hormone testosterone, which in turn leads to oestrogen, which is already present in the body, to stimulate the growth of breast tissue.

The Natural Ageing Process

Even though the natural ageing process is not a medical condition, it is worth mentioning in this section, because ageing can cause an enlargement of the breasts. When a man ages, he will experience normal hormonal changes. Unfortunately, one of these hormonal changes is a reduction in testosterone production.


Tumours may cause a hormonal imbalance as well, especially tumours that affect the testes, adrenal glands or pituitary glands. Like other medical conditions mentioned earlier, the presence of a tumour can affect the levels of testosterone and oestrogen in the body.


Hyperthyroidism is a term used to describe an overactive thyroid. When someone suffers from this condition, the thyroid gland produces too many thyroid hormones. Excess levels of thyroid hormones can lead to all kinds of side-effects; this includes sleeping difficulties, mood swings, weight loss, heat sensitivity, enlarged thyroid glands, an irregular heart rate and weakness. In addition to all these side-effects, there have been reports of male patients developing enlarged breasts because of excess thyroid hormones.

Gynaecomastia Causes in men

Kidney Failure

Kidney failure can have an indirect impact on the development of enlarged male breast. Even though kidney failure itself does not cause the condition, regular haemodialysis can cause it. During dialysis, male patients may experience hormonal changes, which in turn lead to hormone-related problems such as gynaecomastia.

Liver Failure

Liver problems are often associated with hormone fluctuations, which is why gynaecomastia is often present in male patients with liver-related problems. In addition to that, enlarged male breasts can also be caused by the medications that are given for liver failure or cirrhosis.

Eating Disorders

Patients who are suffering from an eating disorder may develop enlarged male breasts due to malnutrition. When the male body does not receive enough nutrients, testosterone levels will drop. However, oestrogen levels will remain stable. Therefore, enlarged male breasts are common in patients missing vital nutrients.

Available Treatments for Enlarged Male Breasts

A common treatment for gynaecomastia is a male breast reduction or man boob surgery. During man boob surgery, a cosmetic surgery will remove the excess of fatty tissue, glandular tissue, and in some cases, excess skin.

Some male patients are concerned that their enlarged male breasts could have an underlying cause such as male breast cancer. The condition can occur in both younger and older men, so our clinic ensures that the patient is in good health before a treatment is executed. A physical examination can also include looking at other potential causes for the condition before a treatment is chosen. For example, a physical examination can be used to rule out liver disease, irregular hormone levels such as elevated estrogen levels (female hormone) and low testosterone, kidney disease, klinefelter syndrome, problems with the lymph nodes and more. Based on the findings from blood tests and additional examinations, a suitable treatment can be determined. 

To remove excess tissue during man boob surgery, the surgeon must make an incision in a strategical place on the body. The location is chosen carefully, because the incision may leave a visible scar. Therefore, the most common places to make an incision during man boob surgery are the edge of the nipple or the armpit.

Once an incision is made, the surgeon can remove excess tissue through liposuction.


Enlarged male breasts is a treatable condition, but the underlying cause must be determined to make more long term treatment solutions possible. Therefore, cosmetic surgerys must determine the cause of the condition before suggesting or executing a male breast reduction.

To learn more about male breast reduction, or other treatment options for enlarged male breasts, please refer to the additional information pages on the Dr Lanzer website.

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Let us know the procedure(s) you are considering and your details and we will get back to you with a time and day to suit you.

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