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Elliot W. Jacobs, MD, FACS - Diplomate, American Board Of Plastic Surgery

Specializing in Primary &
Revision Gynecomastia Surgery

815 Park Avenue New York, NY 10021

Male Breast Pain

the causes of male breast pain

Wait, what? Men can suffer breast pain too?

It’s true. Guys have breasts just like women do, and you probably already know that it’s not uncommon for men and boys to grow unwanted breast tissue. Though less typical, it’s also possible for guys to experience breast pain.

Here are the basics about male breast pain.

General Causes of Pain

Many types of breast pain have nothing to do with gynecomastia, or enlarged male breasts. According to the health website verywell.com, they include:

Runners’ nipples – Friction from clothing can cause nipples to feel sore and even bleed.

Breast injury – Whether from sports, work activities or another source, a blow to the breast can result in tissue death, or necrosis. Sometimes, a lump or dimpling occurs which can mimic breast cancer.

Mastitis and cysts – While these are much more common in women than in men, guys can also suffer breast tissue infections and small, fluid-filled sacs that can be uncomfortable.

Benign breast tumors – There are a variety of non-threatening tumors that can occur in men as well as women.

Male Breast Cancer

The American Cancer Society says that only one in 100 breast cancer patients is male. But because breast cancer is so prevalent in our society, even at that low rate it’s important to know that guys do, on occasion, contract the disease (which can cause pain or not). The organization forecasts that about 460 male patients will die from breast cancer this year.

Breast Pain with Gynecomastia

When we see patients with man boobs in New York, they sometimes remark that their breasts are tender or did feel that way at one point in time. Speaking very generally, it’s quite common for guys with active breast growth to experience mild to moderate discomfort. Think about it – perhaps you’re aware that your teenage daughter felt sore as her breasts began to develop. Or you may remember that one of the first signs of your wife’s pregnancy was breast tenderness. It’s the same for men: when breast tissue grows, man boobs can feel sore.

Naturally, patients want to know if their breasts will no longer feel tender after male breast reduction surgery. Our experience shows that this is the case for most guys — the procedure eliminates pain after healing. We can’t guarantee this result, however.

When to See a Doctor

Men are often reluctant to schedule an appointment with their doctor. Busy schedules, embarrassment and an “I can handle it” attitude may contribute. If you have any concerns at all about your breasts, however, we urge you not to delay visiting a professional.

It’s usually a good idea to start with your family doctor or internist, but it can be important not to stop there. If your physician dismisses a lump or other condition that worries you, seek a second opinion.

If breast tenderness appears to be associated with gynecomastia, we suggest you visit us here in Manhattan or see another board certified plastic surgeon with significant gynecomastia expertise. It’s quite common for guys with enlarged breasts to feel emotional distress that can lead to poor self-esteem, social isolation, relationship issues, weight gain, depression and more. Many of our New York man boob patients feel a deep sense of relief and gain a new lease on life after male breast reduction.

Even if your enlarged breasts don’t bother you much, a trip to a knowledgeable plastic surgeon is still a great investment. Gynecomastia specialists tend to know more about the condition than almost any other type of physician. A good one will give you a wealth of information to help you cope with your man boobs, not pressure you to have surgery.

We invite you to read through the rest of our website, especially our gynecomastia FAQ. Then, if you think we can be of assistance, fill out our online contact form. We would be happy to hear from you!

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