Unilateral Pseudogynecomastia: An Occupational Hazard in Manual Metal-Pressing Factories?



Five cases of unilateral occupation-related pseudogynecomastia are presented. All the patients in these cases worked in the same metal-pressing factory.


One patient with grade 4 unilateral gynecomastia in the right breast presented to the authors’ outpatient department asking persistently for surgery. He also reported that all his male colleagues working in the same business (a total of 5) had different degrees of unilateral gynecomastia. Their line of work involved holding a long round rod under the axilla and then pressing the distal end of it firmly against a spinning metal plate. The patient underwent a superior pedicle breast reduction, with 1,800 ml of tissue removed from his right breast. Unfortunately, the patient experienced partial nipple loss. However, he was satisfied with the final result, and good symmetry was achieved.


All five patients who worked in the same metal-pressing factory presented with unilateral gynecomastia and were examined in our department. Their average age was 51.4 years. All the patients had normal hormonal and biochemical status, and the results of screening for toxins and heavy metal exposure were negative. All the patients were heavy smokers. At examination, none of the patients had nipple discharge or retraction, skin changes, galactorrhea, or lymphadenopathy. Examination showed one patient with grade 4, three patients had grade 2, and one patient with grade 1 unilateral gynecomastia.


The authors believe that gynecomastia may be considered an occupational risk in analogous metal-pressing factories because all the workers in this factory presented with some degree of unilateral gynecomastia. However, they emphasize that this may simply be an observational phenomenon without a true cause and effect relationship.

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The authors have no commercial interest in the subject of study and no financial or material support.

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Correspondence to Georgia-Alexandra Spyropoulou.

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Video 1. Supplemental digital content 1. The patient holds a long round rod under the axilla and presses the distal end of it firmly against a spinning metal plate (WMV 1036 kb)

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Spyropoulou, GA., Karamatsoukis, S. & Foroglou, P. Unilateral Pseudogynecomastia: An Occupational Hazard in Manual Metal-Pressing Factories?. Aesth Plast Surg 35, 270–273 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00266-010-9584-9

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  • Gynecomastia
  • Occupational-related gynecomastia
  • Pseudogynecomastia