Review Article

An Approach to Gynecomastia in Primary Care Clinics

Authors: Kavya Bharathidasan, MD, Jordan Curl, BS, Vedesh Kumar Babu, MD, Shaili Felton, MD, Kenneth Nugent, MD


Gynecomastia is a more common finding in primary care clinics than is recognized. Because this finding can be easily overlooked, appropriate investigation and management often are missed. The workup of gynecomastia is highly individualized, based on the patient’s presentation and related factors. It should be guided by thorough history taking and physical examination. Unless the patient has associated symptoms, or there is suspicion for an underlying clinical disorder causing the gynecomastia, the patient need not be investigated further. A breast ultrasound is not routinely recommended. Gynecomastia is a benign finding that will spontaneously regress in most patients; however, patients who are concerned with their physical appearance can be treated either medically or surgically. Patients who have had gynecomastia for more than 1 year tend to have fibrosis, which may be more difficult to treat. Management of gynecomastia is highly patient centered, following a detailed discussion about treatment goals and should be started early. Gynecomastia is not considered a premalignant condition; routine screening is not cost-effective, and imaging studies should be pursued only if physical examination findings suggest malignancy.


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