Gynecomastia Pinch Test

Gynecomastia Pinch Test

Gynecomastia Pinch Test is an article that aims to give you all the information you do not know about the gynecomastia pinch test. We kindly shared the main headings with you;

What is gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia, also known as ‘’ man boobs’’, is a medical condition in which males have female-appearing breasts. In other words, gynecomastia is a state that involves an increase in the amount of breast gland tissue in males. Each breast can be affected unevenly. Males can experience gynecomastia at any age, but it is most common during the newborn period, puberty, and older adulthood.

What are the symptoms of gynecomastia?

Although most of the patients do not have any symptoms, below you can find the potential symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Swollen breast tissue
  • Breast tenderness
  • Nipple sensitivity.

What causes gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia happens due to estrogen and androgen hormone imbalance. A healthy man will produce a small amount of estrogen, which is a hormone controlling breast growth. However, if the body starts to produce too much estrogen or low testosterone, it may lead to gynecomastia.

What conditions can cause gynecomastia?

Below you can find the list of conditions that can lead to gynecomastia:

  • Too much alcohol consumption
  • Aging
  • Kidney disease
  • Kidney failure because dialysis alters the hormone levels
  • Klinefelter syndrome which is an inherited condition. This condition lowers testosterone production
  • Thyroid disease in which the thyroid gland produces excess thyroxine hormone
  • Liver failure and cirrhosis alter hormone levels
  • Some tumors that involve the testes, adrenal glands, or pituitary glands can alter the hormone balance
  • Malnutrition will also decrease testosterone levels while estrogen levels stay the same.

Which medications can cause gynecomastia?

Below are medications and drugs that can cause gynecomastia:

  • Anxiety and depression medications
  • Anti-androgens which are used in enlarged prostate treatment and prostate cancer
  • AIDS medications because some HIV medications have estrogen-like properties
  • Bacterial and fungal infection medications
  • Heart failure medications
  • Male infertility medications
  • High blood pressure medications
  • Marijuana
  • Opioids
  • Anabolic steroids, which are used to build muscles
  • Herbal supplements such as lavender oils and tea tree oils.

How to diagnose gynecomastia?

The doctor will perform a physical examination. They will also see your medical history and family history. You may need to do a blood test to see your hormone levels.

Both gynecomastia and breast cancer can lead to breast lump formation. Thus, in order to distinguish one from the other, the doctor may ask for a breast ultrasound and a mammogram. A detailed image of breast growth will be provided with a breast ultrasound. If there is an unusual growth, a mammogram will enable examination of these changes.

How to distinguish between gynecomastia and fat?

In gynecomastia, patients develop firm glandular tissue underneath their nipples which is a sign for gynecomastia. However, this is not the case for pseudo gynecomastia, which is the condition for having excess fat. Pseudogynecomastia can be caused by regular hormonal changes, excess body weight, and high body mass index.

How does excess breast tissue form?

Excess breast tissue is usually formed because of hormonal changes. Also, it can be caused by medical conditions such as thyroid, liver, or kidney diseases. Above mentioned medications and drugs can also contribute to excess breast tissue formation.

How common is gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is the most common breast disorder seen among males. Worldwide, about 50 to 65% of boys and men are affected.

At what stage gynecomastia is likely to happen?

As mentioned above, gynecomastia can happen at any age. However, birth, puberty, and adulthood are the most common stages in men to have gynecomastia.

More than half of males experience enlarged breasts after birth. This can be because of the mother’s estrogen levels. However, it disappears after a few weeks.

More than half of teenage boys also have breast enlargement because their hormones change which includes a decrease in testosterone and an increase in estrogen. Breast enlargement also disappears when their hormone levels become stable. This can take six months to two years.

After the age of 50, males tend to experience enlarged breasts because their body produces less testosterone with age. Also, with age, body fat increases too, which induces estrogen production.

What is the gynecomastia pinch test?

The gynecomastia pinch test is a test that is done to understand whether you have gynecomastia or not. It can also be done at home.

How to do a gynecomastia pinch test?

During the pinch test, the doctor will ask you to lie on your back. They will use their forefinger and thumb during the examination. With this physical examination, it is checked whether you have a concentric, rubbery, or firm mass of disk-shaped tissue. It is usually not fixed and located under the areola. If the doctor finds this firm tissue, it is a sign that you have gynecomastia. On the other hand, if not, then it is pseudo gynecomastia.

For an accurate diagnosis, imaging tests like a mammogram, testicular ultrasound, breast ultrasound, and a CT scan may be required.

To understand the underlying cause, a blood test will be done to see if it is due to liver, kidney, or thyroid problems. In addition, hormone tests will also be carried out to see the amount of the hormones.

How to perform a gynecomastia pinch test at home?

You can follow the below steps to understand if you have gynecomastia or not.

  1. First, stand in front of a mirror without any shirt on and make sure that the lighting is good.
  2. Next, pinch the nipple with your thumb and forefinger and then lightly feel the entire areola.
  3. Lastly, try to feel whether you have a firm lump or disc-shaped mass size of a button.

Although it is rare, patients can also feel itchy around the nipple. Some can also experience changes in sex drive and mood shifts. If you are experiencing these conditions, please see a doctor for more detailed information and a treatment plan.

What if the pinch test says that it is pseudo gynecomastia?

Pseudo gynecomastia happens due to excess fat, which can be treated with the right diet and high activity levels to induce weight loss. If, after trying diet and exercise, breasts are still large, it may have been gynecomastia after all. In that case, surgery can be thought about.

How to treat gynecomastia?

Some people do not want any treatment, and some do not even need one. However, if you are experiencing gynecomastia due to a medication, try to stop taking it, or you can try to switch the medication under your doctor’s supervision. Or, if gynecomastia happens due to a disease, it should go away with the disease treatment. Lastly, some patients can choose breast reduction surgery.

What is breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction surgery is also known as reduction mammaplasty. This surgery is done to remove fat, breast tissue, and skin from the breasts. It aims to decrease discomfort and improve appearance for those who have large breasts.

Who is a candidate for breast reduction surgery?

  • Any male who is uncomfortable with their appearance due to their large breasts can have breast reduction surgery, regardless of the cause
  • Patients who have neck pain, back pain, or other symptoms may also consider breast reduction surgery
  • Men whose condition can not be treated with alternative medical treatments
  • Non-smokers
  • Non-drug users
  • Physical healthy men with normal weight
  • Men whose breast development is already stable
  • Men who do not have any serious illnesses or medical conditions.

How does breast reduction surgery happen?

Before the surgery, try to arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you the first night, just in case. In addition, some lab tests and medical evaluations will be done. If you are smoking, try to stop before the surgery and avoid aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs, as they can increase bleeding.

Breast reduction surgery happens under general anesthesia. It will take about two to five hours, depending on the case. There are various methods of surgery that your doctor will choose according to the patient. These are:


When gynecomastia happens because of excess fat, liposuction techniques can be used. Several small incisions will be done to be able to insert a thin hollow tube which will be moved back and forth to loosen excess fat. Then, a vacuum will suck the excess fat.


The excision technique is used when glandular breast tissue or excess skin must be removed. It is also required in the case in which the areola needs to be reduced, or the nipple will be repositioned.

Liposuction and excision

Depending on the case, both liposuction and excision techniques can be used during the surgery.

How does recovery after breast reduction surgery happen?

  • You will feel very moderate pain thanks to the medications that will be prescribed by your doctor.
  • You are not allowed to participate in physical activities that will cause tension or friction on the incision site for two weeks
  • Patients usually return to work after five to seven days, depending on the type of surgery that was performed
  • A compression vest should be worn for six weeks to improve swelling and contour
  • Light physical activity can be done after two weeks.
Operation Time 2-5 hours Time to return to work 5-7 days
Anesthesia General anesthesia Recovery 2-6 weeks
Price 2,360 € Hospital Stay None or 1 night

Below you can use the cost calculator to find out the price of your treatment. 

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