Male Breast Reduction for Adolescents

istock_000025821197_large-207x300Between hormones and body changes, adolescence can be a difficult time. Considering that an estimated 30 to 50 percent of all boys develop some level of gynecomastia during puberty, it can make it even harder.

What Is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia describes the development of breast tissue in men and adolescent boys. Although it’s typically due to hormonal changes, it can also be caused by genetics or the use of certain drugs, such as anabolic steroids, marijuana, and heroin. The breast tissue can develop on one or both sides and often causes feelings of embarrassment.

How Long Does It Last?

In most teens, gynecomastia is temporary. Within in a few months to a year, the breast tissue flattens out and the pectoral muscles begin to develop, giving the chest a firmer appearance.

When an adolescent suffers from true gynecomastia, it is not fat that makes up the breasts; it’s mammary tissue and it does not go away with weight loss. When a child is overweight, fat can settle in the breast area and mimic gynecomastia, but this is not treated with surgery; instead exercise and a healthy diet can reduce the appearance of breasts.

What Happens When It Doesn’t Go Away?

In a few cases, gynecomastia does not go away as the adolescent ages. If by the ages of 17 or 18, when puberty has ended, a young man still has a significant amount of breast tissue, surgery many be considered as an option.

Not everyone or every case is appropriate for gynecomastia surgery. Surgery is often selective and certain criteria must be met. For an adolescent, this means the following conditions should be present:

  • A significant amount of breast tissue has been present for at least two years
  • The breast size has to be stable, with no growth for at least six months to a year. If the breast tissue is still growing, there is an increased risk of recurrence of the gynecomastia
  • The adolescent must be a healthy weight and have tried to reduce the size of breast tissue by developing the pectoral muscles
  • The breast tissue is causing unneeded social and psychological stress

Although surgeons typically wait to the end of the teenage years to perform gynecomastia surgery, recent research shows that for some severe cases, early intervention may have better results.

Interested In Learning More About Treating Gynecomastia? Contact Dr. Perron

If you’re suffering from gynecomastia, you’re no longer in puberty, and the breast size has stabilized, gynecomastia surgery may be right for you. Call Dr. Perron for more information or to schedule a consult today.

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Posted in: Male Breast Reduction

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