Psuedogynecomastia is one of the most common condition that often gets confused with gynecomastia. When men find out that they have unusually larger chest mass than their peers or other men of their age and body size and structure, probably the first thing that comes to their mind is gynecomastia. However, not all breast enlargement in men are caused as a result of excessive breast tissue growth or gynecomastia. Gynecomastia has its own underlying etiology and definite characteristics. It is recommended that you have a clear understanding of gynecomastia to know about pseudogynecomastia as they are inter-connected. This is required because, treatment of pseudogynecomastia is different from that of gynecomastia. Treatment options, pills that targets chest fat, surgery for pseudogynecomastia and even the surgical technique used to remove chest fat pseudogynecomastia are all different. However, there is similarity in the way both both gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia manifest or looks like for the untrained eye. Both of them manifest as enlarged breast in men.
What is pseudogynecomastia
The word pseudogynecomastia is a combination of two words: pseudo and gynecomastia. Pseudo means false or masking something else. So pseudogynecomastia means false gynecomastia or something that masks itself as gynecomastia but is not gynecomastia. In the case of pseudogynecomastia, the look and feel of gynecomastia is not as a result of excess breast tissue but fat accumulation. The way a male chest will look in the case of gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia is more or less the same.
Difference between gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia
The main difference as mentioned above is the underlying mass that leads to the feminization of the male breast. In the case of gynecomastia, what leads to the feminization of male breast is the growth of excessive breast tissue. However, if it is pseudogynecomastia, the underlying mass is not breast tissue but fat.
So if you think that you have gynecomastia just because you have a chubby chest, the first thing that you should make sure is that it is in fact gynecomastia. It is recommended that you consult with a doctor who specializes in the treatment and surgery of gynecomastia. Different doctors have slightly different approaches when it comes to differentiating between gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia. Below is a classic and basic approach to find the underlying mass.
The illustration above shows the difference between the physiological make up of a normal chest and that of a chest with pseudogynecomastia or chest fat.
The illustration below shows the difference between the physiological make up of a chest with gynecomastia or excess breast tissue and that of a chest with pseudogynecomastia or chest fat.
Diagnosis of pseudogynecomastia
The patient lies flat on his back with his hands clasped beneath his head. Using the separated thumb and forefinger, the examiner slowly brings the fingers together from either side of the breast. In patients with true gynecomastia, a rubbery or firm mound of tissue that is concentric with the nipple–areolar complex is felt, whereas in patients with pseudogynecomastia, no such disk of tissue is found. In simple terms, if you have gynecomastia, you will feel hardness or firmness around your nipples showing the presence of breast tissue and in the case of pseudogynecomastia, you will not feel the hardness.