How do I determine if I have lipomastia or gynecomastia?

Is there anything I can do at home to self-diagnose my issue? Or do I need to go to a doctor to tell? I am 28 years old and only started to get man boobs 2 years ago after I packed on a few too many pounds. I am average height and weight about 200 lbs. I used to weigh around 170 all through my early 20s. Would 30 lbs of fat cause this lipomastia?


M, 29, Virginia

Gaining weight is a double edged sword.  Surely some of the weight will go to your chest.  But then there is an increase in production of estrogen as well, which will then stimulate growth of breast tissue.  And this growth is a one way street.  If you were to lose the same amount of weight, the fat cells would shrink but the newly grown breast tissue will remain, leaving you with residual enlarged breasts.

Trying to self-diagnose fat vs breast tissue is a fool's errand.  Even the most experienced doctors' hands cannot tell the percentage of fat vs breast tissue.  Just realize that ALL men's breasts have some combination of fat and breast tissue.

I have written on this subject and would recommend you read:

For further info, consult my website which is exclusively devoted to gynecomastia:

Good luck!

Elliot Jacobs, MD, FACS

New York City

Dr. Elliot Jacobs has 3 Gynecomastia reduction before & afters:

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If you are determined to self-diagnose, you may be able to feel a firm disc of breast tissue beneath the nipple. This disc is the mammary gland. Keep in mind however that your issue is likely a combination of both excess fat and some glandular tissue. There is no way to know from self-examination what the ratio of mammary gland to excess chest fat is.

In my experience, drawing a distinction between "true gynecomastia" and "lipomastia" isn't particularly productive. (The latter is simply a form of gynecomastia.) The presentation in either case is enlarged male breasts.

Whether the condition is caused by breast glandular tissue or chest fat makes little difference. If the condition bothers you, we can treat it.

In the event that the issue is caused by fat alone, breast reduction can be achieved with basic liposuction.

In the event that there is some enlarged glandular tissue, the tissue can be removed with a relatively basic surgical procedure.

I encourage you to arrange a consultation to review the options that are best for you. Gynecomastia is a very common complaint and gynecomastia surgery is simple and straightforward.

Dr. Neil Zemmel has 3 Gynecomastia reduction before & afters:

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The question of "is it gynecomastia or pseudogynecomastia" comes up frequently. As you noted, your "man boobs" may be due to excess adipose tissue and your weight gain may indeed be partly to blame.

Too much body fat can lead to a build-up of fatty tissue in the male breast. However it is rare for enlarged male breasts to contain fat alone.

While there are some rudimentary self-examinations you can do to feel for an enlarged mammary gland, I would encourage you to seek a professional examination. Some doctors will use ultrasound or a mammogram on male patients which can provide a clearer picture of the source of the breast growth. Regardless of what's causing enlarged breasts, the condition is easily treatable with liposuction or surgical excision.

As you probably know, chest fat can be extremely difficult to lose with traditional weight loss methods. The chest and belly are often one of the last areas where fat is shed.

We have had excellent results with cosmetic surgery to eliminate gynecomastia and restore a well-contoured male chest.

I suggest a professional consultation to discuss which options make the most sense for you. Remember to contact a board-certified plastic surgeon.

The simple answer is YES but an examination by an expert followed by a mammogram would be the best way to determine what is going on

Dr Corbin

If when you palpate your breast it is frim and gritty with like little nodule then it probably is male breast tissue and if it is soft and homogeneous then probably fatty tissue.