More than 60 per cent of adolescents aged between 10 and 16 years suffer from Gynaecomastia, a condition that results in the enlargement of the male breast, which can be emotionally embarrassing especially for teenagers and young adults.
Dr. Rahul Tandon, consultant - Plastic Surgery at Abu Dhabi’s leading tertiary healthcare institution Burjeel Hospital explained that gynaecomastia has three main causes.
“Firstly, the condition can have a physiological cause where during puberty; boys’ hormones can increase and decrease. If levels of testosterone drop, the high levels of the female hormone estrogen result in the growth of the breast tissue,” said Dr Tandon.
“In new born babies, the condition can occur when estrogen is passed on from the mother to the child. However this is only temporary and disappears in a couple of weeks.”
Secondly, he highlighted that gynaecomastia can have pathological origins – kidney failure, liver diseases, or some medications or infections in the testicles can also trigger the condition. Increased intake of alcohol or dependence on illegal drugs like cannabis can also result in the disorder. However, the most common cause is an idiopathic one: late onset of puberty.
“Having the condition can be psychologically traumatic but help is easy to find. For those whose gynaecomastia is caused by hormonal issues or pathological roots, medication to regulate hormones or treat a condition is prescribed,” said Dr Tandon.”
For gynaecomastia that stems from idiopathic causes, liposuction is done. With the increased trend of outdoor sporting activities and hitting the gym amongst the young male population, liposuction has become a common solution to gynaecomastia.”
In liposuction, fat is removed from the breast area using suction. Thin tubes called cannulas are used for suction and they can be moved around to target specific fat deposits.
If required, the breast tissue is removed through a small incision around the nipple. Patients do not have to stay the night at the hospital and scars are not any more visible after a few days.
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