Gynecomastia Surgery and Teens
While some pediatricians and even plastic surgeons are against it – thinking the lad may outgrow the condition – the teen patient’s life can be hellish if the condition does not go away. Others say the breasts may grow back after surgery. (They don’t!)
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), 14,203 patients between 13 and 19 went under the knife in 2008 for male breast reduction.
(2009 statistics will be available soon.)
While I’m not a psychologist, anybody who hears these lads’ stories would conclude some damage is being done at a critical time in a young man’s life when he should be building self-confidence, not having his image torn down daily.
For the teen with large breasts (or “man boobs” as they are cruelly known) teasing and finger pointing can also destroy his fledgling ability to relate to both boys and girls.
Recently a teen gynecomastia patient complained of school bullies flicking his breasts as if he were a girl. And here’s what he said about his social life, which is usually very active for any teenager: “I don’t like going out because it seems like everybody is staring at me.”
It turned out that Tim’s father also suffered as a teen with large breasts and did not want to see his son go through the same thing.
One boy, pictured below, was only 12 when he and his family came to see me about male breast reduction surgery. (Read The Post-Standard article from Syracuse, N.Y. about teens with gynecomastia .) The after picture was taken in February, 2010.
After surgery, the youngster was so motivated, he lost 35 pounds through diet and exercise!
In another case, a mother wrote about her son whose breasts started growing when he was only 10.
Some female classmates said it would not be cool to have a boyfriend with bigger breasts than they had! Naturally, the lad was crushed.
(Read the touching letter of the mother whose son had gynecomastia.)
I’ve performed male breast reduction surgery on over 175 teens and recommend it, if certain diagnostic criteria exists like:
- Stability for at least two years.
Breast size have not changed
- Being emotionally mature.
He must understand treatment is an operation, with all that entails.
(Read more about when teens should have gynecomastia surgery.)