The types of gynecomastia refer to the size of breast enlargement, the feminine appearance of the breasts, and the protrusion of the nipple, among other factors, as defined by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPC).
Doctors use the grading system as an objective tool in determining the severity of the breast enlargement in affected males. The need for medical treatment, such as medications or surgery, is also partly determined by the grade.
Keep reading to learn how to determine your type of gyno and grade, to choose the most adequate treatment for it.
Gynecomastia is the abnormal swelling of the breast tissue in adolescent boys and adult men; it may or may not be accompanied by breast tenderness and nipple discharge.
It is triggered by the decrease in testosterone levels in comparison with estrogen levels that, in turn, can be caused by several factors.
Not every male with feminine-looking breasts actually has true gynecomastia. Before jumping to conclusions, be sure to check with your doctor so that appropriate tests can be conducted for a definitive diagnosis.
This is because some men have pseudogynecomastia, a condition similar to true gynecomastia in terms of appearance but with a unique underlying cause.
The main difference between the two conditions is the type of tissue causing the feminine-looking breasts.
In true gynecomastia, the enlarged breasts are caused by excess glandular male breast tissue; in some cases, there may be excess adipose (fat) tissue as well.
In pseudogynecomastia, these are typically caused by excess adipose tissue buildup behind, under and around the nipples.
Emphasis must be made that glandular tissue is different from fat tissue in many ways. For one thing, the former is more fibrous and firmer than the latter, thus, it isn’t as responsive to changes in diet, exercise and lifestyle habits.
While a healthy diet and exercise habits can contribute to reduced breast size, there will likely be a need for other treatments like natural supplements for increasing testosterone production.
The real gyno is caused by changes in hormone levels, usually an imbalance, while thepseudogynecomastia is closely associated with weight gain.
Changes in diet and exercise resulting in effective weight loss can then reduce the size of the breast enlargement in men with pseudogynecomastia.
Doctors also suggest exercises that tone and sculpt the chest area so that the breasts look more masculine and less feminine.
Both true gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia, nonetheless, can cause physical and psychological issues for affected men. Most of them will then seek safe and effective treatments.
There are two types of gynecomastia depending on the number of breasts affected, namely, unilateral and bilateral. The main difference between the two lies in the symmetry of the breasts.
On one hand, unilateral gynecomastia refers to the condition where only one of the breasts is noticeably larger than the other.
The non-affected breast is typically normal in size and shape; the breast, nipple, and areola are normal in appearance.
Also known as asymmetrical gynecomastia, it is also a term used in describing the abnormal growth of both breasts but with different growth rates.
For example, both breasts are enlarged but the right breast is significantly larger than the left breast, which may or may not be accompanied by differences in the skin and nipple appearance.
Men with unilateral gynecomastia wherein one breast is significantly larger than the other are more likely to develop depression and anxiety.
Their low self-esteem and self-confidence can prevent them from enjoying meaningful intimate relationships, especially since these usually involve being naked in bed.
Many, if not most, of them, will not even be seen shirtless in public for fear of ridicule.
On the other hand, bilateral gynecomastia refers to the enlargement of both breasts. In most cases, the breasts grow at similar rates, thus, their symmetrical appearance when viewed from the side and front.
The symmetrical appearance, however, doesn’t decrease the feelings of frustration associated with the condition.
Doctors also use these types of gyno classification in determining the best plan of action for treatment. For example, men with mild unilateral gynecomastia will likely not need medications and surgery since diet, exercise and natural supplements like Gynectrol will suffice.
According to the gynecomastia grades set by ASPC, Grade 1 is the mildest form while Grade 4 is the most severe wherein the male chest has noticeable feminization of the breasts.
This is a very mild form that many men are willing to live with considering that the breast enlargement isn’t noticeable except upon closer inspection.
Indeed, doctors hesitate about prescribing medications and recommending surgery because the possible benefits are outweighed by the costs and risks. Instead, diet and exercises for weight loss and chest sculpting are recommended.
The first symptoms usually include occasional itchiness around the nipple area, a rubbery nodule behind the nipple that feels firm to the touch, or a nipple jutting out more than usual.
When you start rubbing your nipple area to relieve the itch, you may then be able to feel the rubbery nodule or observe the abnormal length of your nipple.
The button of tissue around the areola, fortunately, doesn’t spread to the surrounding area.
But don’t be complacent either with Grade 1 gyno!
If its underlying cause isn’t resolved, then there’s a chance that it will progress to the next grade.
For example, your doctor will recommend an effective treatment plan for your hyperthyroidism in case it’s the root cause of your enlarged breasts.
You and your doctor have to decide whether your condition warrants medical treatment. You should also consider natural supplements combined with a healthy diet and exercise plan since these are useful in mild gynecomastia.
This is a mild to high form characterized by moderate breast enlargement. Here, the breast tissue grows until it spread out beyond the boundaries of the pink areola resulting in a more noticeable breast swelling on the chest wall.
The edges of the enlarged breast, if it’s any consolation, blend in with the chest wall so it’s still less noticeable than Grade 3 and 4.
Depending on the amount of swelling, medical treatment may be necessary. Be sure to discuss your options with a licensed plastic surgeon experienced in its treatment before making your decision.
You may still benefit from a combination of a healthy diet and lifestyle program combined with natural supplements formulated to treat testosterone imbalances.
Your doctor may also look into the underlying cause of your condition and then recommend treatment for it, such as changing to another antidepressant.
This is also characterized by moderate breast enlargement wherein the breasts appear high and visible. The edges of the breast are already distinct from the chest wall that, when combined with the skin redundancy, makes for more obvious feminine-looking breasts.
If you choose surgery to remove the excess breast tissue, your plastic surgeon may also remove the excess skin for best results.
This is considered as the most severe form marked by significant breast enlargement, skin redundancy, and visible feminization of the breasts.
Here, the breasts may have a sagging appearance, the nipples a longer length, and the areola a larger area.
Surgery is the only treatment. Plastic surgeons remove both the excess breast tissue and the redundant skin to ensure a better post-operation appearance (i.e., symmetry).
Aside from the ASPC grading system, doctors also use the Cruise Classification System. This was developed by Joseph T. Cruise, M.D., a well-known licensed plastic surgeon based in Los Angeles, California.
He developed his system based on his experience with more than 2,500 gynecomastia surgeries.
He also developed it for the purpose of classifying the types of gynecomastia, as well as define patient goals and decide on the best treatment plan for each patient.
He classified the condition into six types, namely:
The excess breast tissue is under the areola or nipple only; the nipple itself is above the border of the pectoral muscle. The lateral chest fold is straight and tight (i.e., no skin redundancy).
The nipple is positioned above the border of the pectoral muscle while the excess breast tissue spreads outward over the chest fold. This results in a tight and rounded lateral chest fold.
The breast tissue is positioned similar to Type 2 but the nipple is positioned below the border of the pectoral muscle (i.e., 0-2 centimeters). There are a horizontal appearance and mild laxity in the lateral chest fold.
The breast tissue has extended into the axilla while the nipple is more than 1.5 centimeters below the border of the pectoral muscle. There’s also a small breast roll visible in front of the armpit.
The nipple is more than 2 centimeters below the border of the pectoral muscle while the breast tissue also extends into the axilla. Aside from the breast roll in front of the armpit, there’s also a visible one at the back.
This is similar to Type 5 but the breast roll has extended around to the back. The feminization of the chest is visible even under a shirt in most cases.
Which of these types of gynecomastia do you have?
You should consult with your doctor about it as soon as possible!
We also suggest looking into natural treatment options, such as herbal supplements, since these may be effective in your case, especially if you have the mild type.
Whatever grade you have there are ways to get rid of your man boobs. Don't give up but try and test some options and you will defintely find something that will work for you.
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