Gynaecomastia, sometimes referred to as “man boobs”, is a fairly common condition primarily in teenage boys and older men, although the condition can impact any age group.

What causes gynecomastia in men

Hormonal imbalance

One of the main causes is hormone imbalance where oestrogen causes breast tissue to grow.


A common cause of gynecomastia. Being overweight can increase levels of oestrogen, and excess fat can enlarge breast tissue. For some people losing weight or exercise can help, but will not always improve the condition.

Old age

Men produce less testosterone as they get older, which is not helped by increased body fat as this can prompt increased oestrogen production.

Other causes

Side effects of alcohol misuse, prescription, over the counter medicine can lead to gynecomastia, such as anti-ulcer drugs or medicine for heart disease. Health conditions like lumps on your testicles or kidney failure can also be a trigger as well as rare genetic disorders such as Klinefelter syndrome. 

Breast reduction surgery for men

Breast reduction surgery for gynecomastia is performed under general anesthetic and can take up to three hours. Patients usually stay in the hospital for one night and are able to return to desk-based work in one to two weeks after surgery.

Gynecomastia surgery involves:

  • Making an incision around the nipple
  • Using a scalpel or using liposuction techniques to remove excess fat or a combination of the two
  • Repositioning the nipple if a lot of tissue needs to be removed

What men are eligible for breast reduction surgery

Breast reduction surgery is a great option for men with gynecomastia. It is also used to tighten a man’s breast area if they have sagging skin after significant weight loss. This type of breast reduction surgery is usually not available on the NHS, and is not suitable for men who have large breasts simply from being overweight.

Book your consultation today

If you would like to discuss treatment options or simply require more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch today and see what Aadil Khan Consultant Plastic Surgeon can do for you.


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