Enlarged male breasts

What are enlarged male breasts?

Enlarged male breasts, sometimes referred to as ‘man boobs’ (gynaecomastia) is a common condition that causes the breasts of boys and men to swell and become larger than normal.

It is most common in teenage boys and older men, although it may occur at any time and there are a number of causes. It may occur due to hormonal imbalance linked to factors including obesity.

Not normally funded treatment or procedure:

Surgery for enlarged male breasts to improve appearance alone is not usually funded by the patient’s local NHS commissioning organisation. This is because surgery for reduction of male breast tissue is deemed to be a cosmetic procedure.

If a physical examination raises suspicion of cancer, then an urgent referral for further investigation would be made. Specialist referral to determine the underlying cause of enlarged male breasts (gynaecomastia) should be made in the usual way.

The clinician in charge of the care of the patient’s specific condition, usually a hospital doctor, can assist the application, if there is exceptional clinical need for the treatment to be funded.

The patient’s clinician must evidence clinical exceptionality and must be supported by the patient’s local NHS commissioning organisation. See separate leaflet for more information on Individual Funding Requests (IFRs).

Advice and further guidance:

In some cases, other treatment options will be available, such as medication to adjust a hormone imbalance.

For more information search for ‘male breast reduction’ at www.nhs.uk

  • Choosing Wisely UK is part of a global initiative aimed at improving conversations between patients and their doctors and nurses.

Treatment policy for patients covered by NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG

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