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Adult Gynecomastia, 40 and beyond

June 29, 2023

While men in their 40s and older aren’t the only ones who are at risk of developing gynecomastia, it can be quite a surprise when it happens at this stage in life.

In most cases, what appears to be the sudden onset of gynecomastia, is usually something that has been happening gradually over time as part of the again process. 

But before we talk about treatment, let’s discuss what gynecomastia is, some of its causes, and the treatment we provide at Cruise Plastic Surgery.

What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is a condition that causes an increase in the amount of male breast tissue in men. It can affect one or both breasts, and the increase can be uneven, with one breast appearing larger than the other.  

The issue most often occurs in adolescent boys going through puberty, men who use steroids and other medications known to cause gynecomastia and aging men. 

While in most cases, it is not a serious medical condition, it can be tough for those who develop it because it can be embarrassing, and there can be pain or discomfort.

When gynecomastia occurs in men 40’s and older, the only option for improving the appearance of the chest is surgery. This is because the main component is skin laxity more than it is excess breast tissue. As the skin sags, so do the tissues beneath. 

Causes of Gynecomastia in Men 40s and Older

There are multiple causes of gynecomastia, especially in men age 40 and older. The causes of adult gynecomastia can include everything from hormonal changes, certain medications, and medical conditions.

Hormonal Imbalance

The hormones testosterone and estrogen control sex characteristics in both men and women. Testosterone controls male traits and estrogen controls female traits. When men have an increase in estrogen, decreased testosterone levels, or their estrogen levels are out of balance with their testosterone levels, it can lead to gynecomastia.

As men get older, their amount of testosterone naturally decreases, which can produce gynecomastia.


A number of medications can also cause gynecomastia. Some of the medications that cause gynecomastia include:

  • Anti-androgens that are used to treat enlarged prostate and prostate cancer
  • Anabolic steroids and androgens that treat hormone deficiencies and muscle loss 
  • ADHD medications that contain amphetamines
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Antibiotics
  • Heart medications like digoxin

Medical Conditions

There are also quite a few medical conditions that can cause gynecomastia by affecting the balance of hormones. Some of the health conditions that can be associated with gynecomastia include:

  • Klinefelter syndrome or pituitary insufficiency can lower testosterone production
  • Tumors involving the testes, adrenal gland, or pituitary gland can produce hormones that cause an imbalance of estrogen and testosterone
  • Hyperthyroidism: a condition that causes the thyroid to produce too much of the hormone thyroxine
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver disease and cirrhosis

Treatment for Gynecomastia in Older Men

One of the most effective treatments for gynecomastia is male breast reduction surgery. While liposuction and breast tissue removal may be all that is needed, some men may require skin excision. 

Schedule A Consultation Today

Are you struggling with gynecomastia and looking for treatment? You can be in no better hands to treat gynecomastia than Dr. Cruise. He is an expert in gynecomastia and will listen to your concerns, determine which type of gynecomastia you have, and then recommend the right treatment for you.

To schedule a consultation today, call our Newport Beach, CA office at 949-644-4808 or use our online scheduling form.

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