The condition wherein both breasts do not have the same size is called breast asymmetry. Both men and women can suffer from it. However, in men, the enlargement of the breasts is referred to as gynecomastia. Also referred to as man boobs, oftentimes, it will affect both male breasts equally but there are also men who only have one male breast suffering from it. The enlargement of only one breast is known as unilateral gynecomastia.
Unilateral Gynecomastia Overview
The condition is not exactly uncommon and sadly, men who suffer from significant unilateral gynecomastia tend to experience severe social anxiety and psychological effects. They may have some insecurities in themselves and will have problems developing personal relationships. They’re too embarrassed about their condition that they would rather not become intimate with anyone. As a result, they end up suffering from depression and low self esteem.
Main Causes of One-Sided Man Boobs
Now that you know the implications of gynecomastia, you probably want to know how you got it in the first place. The truth is, the general causes are not exactly certain however, many experts believe it is triggered by an imbalance in the sex hormones, specifically testosterone and estrogen. When a man has more estrogen and less testosterone, then he will likely end up with enlarged breasts.
Factors that lead up to this are as follows:
- Aging – A lot of men develop man boobs as they get older because that is when they usually suffer from hormone imbalance.
- Alcohol Abuse – When you drink alcohol excessively, it can lead to liver damage and as a result, your body will have a hard time metabolizing hormones.
- Cancer – This deadly disease can also trigger hormone imbalances, especially lung and testicular cancer. Other diseases that result in less testosterone include thyroid disorders and kidney disease.
- Medications – Some prescription drugs can trigger man boobs. These include antidepressants, blood pressure drugs, amphetamines, antibiotics, and ulcer drugs.
- Obesity – Being overweight not only results in fat deposits in your arms, legs, neck and belly but it also causes gynecomastia. Having excessive fat deposits in the body triggers it to produce more estrogen which then spurs the growth of glandular or breast tissue.
- Heredity – Some hereditary disorders that can result in enlarged breasts in men include Klinefelter’s Syndrome which basically gives your DNA an extra X chromosome, which will lead to big breasts and sterility.
- Time in Womb – Did you know that if you were exposed to more estrogen in your mother’s womb, that would make you susceptible to developing enlarged breasts? But parents need not worry as most male babies born with big chests will reduce in size after several weeks of birth.
- Steroids – Those who abuse the use of anabolic steroids can develop gynecomastia because the substances in these drugs can turn into estrogen when inside the body.
- Puberty – Teenagers are likely to develop gynecomastia because their hormone levels rise dramatically during puberty. But fortunately most cases go away naturally and gradually.
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Unilateral Gynecomastia Surgery
The good news is, there is a way to correct the problem although the results will vary from person to person. Doctors recommend surgery however you need to understand that when gynecomastia excision is performed, it could cause the areola to shrink. Although in some cases, the areola will expand especially if the enlargement of the breast is really pronounced. If you are considering surgery, it’s important that you discuss this option with a qualified surgeon. You also need to weigh the pros and cons before making the decision.
Many people think that treating a one-sided gynecomastia is easier than treating two breasts but it also has its own challenges. Keep in mind that the principle behind medical treatments of this condition is the same whether it’s for one side or two sides. For surgical treatments, you may have to decide between vaser, liposuction, laser lipo, excision or the shaving method for breast tissues, as well as the excision of the skin, purse string and if necessary, a lift for the nipple to avoid deformity.
The main challenges that doctors have is finding the right match for the skin between the affected side and the normal side. Before surgery is done, the doctor will put a numbing medicine on the local area to keep you from feeling any pain. They will also aim to loosen fatty tissues using a wet technique. Take note that it’s not possible to get the perfect symmetry through surgery and similar procedures especially for men suffering from unilateral gynecomastia because in majority of the cases, the normal side also has fatty deposits. So before going this route, you need to set realistic expectations to avoid getting frustrated with the outcome.