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Gynaecomastia vs Chest Fat: What's the Difference?

Tagged: Body & Breast

Date: 29th February 2024

Medically Reviewed by:  Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396)

Last reviewed: 29th February 2024

What is Gynaecomastia?

Gynaecomastia, also known as Gyno, is a medical condition characterised by the enlargement of the breast tissue in males. It can affect one or both breasts, sometimes unevenly and it has a firm feel when you touch it. 

By contrast, chest fat is the buildup of fat in the breast tissue and the overall chest area. This can happen as a result of weight gain, genetics, and lifestyle habits. When you touch chest fat, it feels softer compared to gyno. 

An evaluation by a professional is crucial to ensure that you properly diagnose the issue to take the next best steps for action. 

What Causes Gynaecomastia?

Gyno is primarily caused by an imbalance between the body’s oestrogen and testosterone levels. Such a hormonal imbalance can lead to the development of excess breast tissue in males, leading to gyno.

Several factors contribute to this imbalance, including the following:

  • Puberty: Fluctuation in hormone levels during puberty is one of the leading causes of developing gyno. Elevated levels of oestrogen compared to testosterone during this phase of life can result in breast enlargement during the teens. In most cases, the situation tends to resolve on its own over time.
  • Ageing: As men age, their testosterone level drops while body fat, which can convert testosterone to oestrogen, increases. This shift can lead to the development of gyno in middle-aged and older men.
  • Medications: Drugs for heart conditions, such as calcium channel blockers, anti-ulcer drugs, anti-HIV drugs, anti-androgen drugs to treat prostate cancer, and some antipsychotic medications can lead to the development of gyno. 
  • Substance abuse: The use of anabolic steroids for performance enhancement is a known cause of gyno. Additionally, the use of recreational drugs like heroin, marijuana and alcohol can disrupt the hormonal balance, leading to gyno.
  • Medical conditions: Medical conditions like hypogonadism (reduced testosterone production), hyperthyroidism (excess thyroid hormone production) and tumours of the adrenal and testes might cause hormonal imbalance, leading to gyno.
  • Obesity: Excess fat in the body can convert testosterone to oestrogen, leading to the development of gyno in overweight men.
  • Nutritional deficiencies: In rare cases, gyno can develop due to chronic malnutrition or during recovery after chronic malnutrition. It happens due to the hormonal imbalance caused by the condition. 

Understanding the condition's root cause is crucial for finding the right course of treatment.

How To Tell If You Have Gyno or Chest Fat?

Determining whether you have Gynecomastia or chest fat involves assessing specific characteristics and symptoms. While gyno results from the development of excess breast tissue, chest fat results from excess fat tissue in the chest area, with no glandular development.

If you’re wondering, ‘What does gyno look like?’ here is how to tell whether you have chest fat vs gyno:

  • Texture: Gyno typically feels like a firm or rubbery lump directly below the nipple area when pressed down. Chest fat, on the other hand, is softer and much more spread throughout the chest area.
  • Symmetry: Gyno can sometimes affect one or both breasts, often unsymmetrically, while chest fat usually accumulates symmetrically in both breasts.
  • Nipple sensitivity: Men with gyno often have tender or puffy nipples, which is not typically the case with chest fat.
  • Shape and size: The breasts appear more contoured and pronounced in gyno, even under clothing. Chest fat tends to be distributed more evenly.
  • Physical examination: A definitive way to determine gyno male breast development is a physical examination by a healthcare provider. Our experienced doctors might even recommend specific imaging tests like ultrasound or mammography to confirm the presence of glandular growth in your breasts.

Understanding these differences is crucial if you want to determine the best way how to get rid of gyno.

How To Get Rid of Gyno?

Getting rid of gyno involves three approaches- male chest reduction, excision and liposuction.

  • It is a surgical approach designed to address gyno by removing excess glandular tissue and fat. 
  • Gyno surgery aims to create a flatter, more masculine chest contour. 
  • Our surgeon makes an incision, typically under the nipple, to remove the excess tissue. 
  • The recovery after a surgery for gyno involves using a compression garment and avoiding strenuous activities for a specific period.
  • It involves removing the glandular tissue without removing the chest fat. 
  • It is a preferred procedure if the gyno is primarily due to glandular development and not fat accumulation. 
  • The technique can also address other issues, including nipple reduction or areola reshaping, if necessary.
  • Liposuction involves removing excess fatty tissue in the chest area and is more effective if the gyno is due to fatty deposits. 
  • During the liposuction process, the surgeon will make small incisions and use a cannula to break the fat up and suck it out. 
  • It is a less invasive procedure than excision and is preferred when minimal glandular tissue is present. 

Choosing the proper treatment depends on individual circumstances, like the composition of the breast tissue (glandular vs fat deposition) and personal health. Consulting with our experienced surgeons in Cadogan Clinic is crucial to determine the best approach for effectively getting rid of gyno.

How To Get Rid of Chest Fat?

Getting rid of chest fat requires a combination of diet, exercise and potential surgical methods. Here is how to lose chest fat: 

  • Diet: Adopt a calorie-controlled diet rich in natural, whole foods like vegetables, fruits and meats. Reducing your overall body fat percentage is crucial if you want to lower your chest fat. Targeting fat loss exclusively in the chest area without overall weight loss is impossible.
  • Exercise: Cardiovascular and strength training are essential to eliminate chest fat. Exercises like running, jogging, swimming and cycling can help burn more calories and fat. Strength training exercises, mainly targeting the chest area, like push-ups, bench presses and chest flies, can help build and tone pectoral muscles, making the chest appear firmer.
  • Surgical options: Liposuction can be a viable option if you are struggling with chest fat that is resistant to diet and exercise. You can consult our surgeons to determine if it is the best approach for your circumstances and to discuss the risk-to-benefit ratio of the procedure.

What Are the Benefits of Gyno Removal Surgery?

Gyno surgery offers several benefits that impact both physical health and psychological well-being. Here are some benefits of gyno surgery:

Improved physical appearance

The gyno surgery removes excess glandular and fatty tissue, resulting in a flatter, more masculine chest contour. These physical changes can dramatically improve your body image and self-confidence.

The surgery also restores the symmetry of the chest, offering an aesthetically pleasing and balanced appearance.

Psychological and emotional benefits

The physical appearance changes post-surgery can improve self-esteem and self-confidence. Gyno is often a source of embarrassment and social stigma, leading to avoidance of activities like swimming and gym workouts. Gyno surgery can alleviate these pressures, improving overall mental health and quality of life.

Increased comfort

Excess breast tissue can cause physical discomfort during physical activities. Gyno surgery can eliminate such discomfort, making daily activities and exercise more comfortable.

In some cases, gyno can result in skin irritation under the breasts. Surgery can alleviate these irritations by removing the excess tissue that causes friction.

How Much Does a Gyno Removal Surgery Cost?

The cost of gyno surgery UK starts from £6,000 in the Cadogan Clinic. The cost typically includes the surgeon’s fees, anaesthesia, facilities charges, and post-operative care charges.

However, the prices can vary for more complex cases or if additional procedures are required, like liposuction. It is also important to note that follow-up appointments and potential treatments for complications, if any, might incur additional costs.

Consult with our experienced surgeons at Cadogan Clinic to understand the cost breakdown and course of action to get the best results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Gyno can go away naturally if it develops during puberty. As your hormonal levels stabilise over time, the symptoms of gyno tend to go away on their own. However, persistent or adult-onset gyno is much less likely to resolve on its own. Medical or surgical intervention might be necessary for removal.

Gyno is quite a common problem in the male population. It can occur at any age and affects a significant number of males at some point in their lives. Puberty gyno, for instance, affects up to 70% of adolescent boys. In adults, prevalence varies but remains a common condition, often associated with hormonal imbalances, medication side effects, or health conditions.

Losing body weight can help reduce the appearance of gyno if it is primarily caused by excess fatty tissue. However, if the gyno is due to the development of glandular breast tissue, weight loss alone might not be enough to resolve the condition. In such cases, you will have to consider surgery.

Gyno is characterised by a firm glandular tissue development under the nipple, often tender, and may affect one or both breasts asymmetrically. Chest fat feels softer and is evenly spread. 

Reducing chest fat significantly in 10 days can be challenging, however, it can be done. You can start with a calorie-restricted diet, high-intensity interval and strength training focusing on the upper body. Hydration and enough sleep are also critically important to get fast results.

Gyno does not always affect both breasts. It can be unilateral or bilateral, and the degree of enlargement can also vary between the sides. Unilateral gyno is less common, but it does occur, resulting in the development of gyno in one breast, giving an asymmetric appearance to the chest.

Words From Our Founder

Mr. Bryan Mayou

It's important to distinguish between Gynaecomastia and chest fat. Gynaecomastia, often stemming from male hormonal imbalances, can affect individuals regardless of weight. On the other hand, chest fat typically results from overall weight gain. While both conditions can be treated with Liposuction, Gynaecomastia may require additional intervention, such as the removal of glandular tissue, for effective long-term results. By understanding the underlying causes and tailoring treatments accordingly, we aim to provide male patients with optimal outcomes and renewed confidence in their chest appearance.
Mr. Bryan Mayou

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