Adolescent Gynecomastia: What Is the Right Age For Gynecomastia Surgery?
Adolescent gynecomastia affects around 65 percent of young boys. Adolescents with pubertal gynecomastia often deal with bullying and low self-esteem issues. While there are many cases of adolescent gynecomastia going away with time, some instances persist, with the excess breast tissue becoming firmer and potentially causing pain. Adolescent gynecomastia is typically seen in boys around 13 to 14 years of age. This blog discusses the social and psychological impacts of adolescent gynecomastia, what causes it, and how gynecomastia surgery can be physically and mentally life-changing.
Teenage boys who have developed pubertal gynecomastia may experience bullying and low self-esteem due to the unwanted increase in breast tissue that creates the appearance of “man boobs.” For boys struggling with this excess breast tissue, gynecomastia surgery can be a life-changing experience. This presents a key question for parents and teens: what is the right age for gynecomastia surgery?
Puberty and the teenage years, in general, are turbulent times for most people, filled with a rollercoaster of emotions and hormones. Add developing man boobs to a pubescent teen boy, and there’s a plethora of social and psychological impacts that can greatly affect the teen’s well-being. For many teen boys, the development of man boobs can be a significant insecurity and a big knock to their confidence in their own body.
With so many body changes happening during puberty, it can be challenging to deal with unwanted excess breast tissue, especially in cases when the gynecomastia is more severe. At a young age, teasing and bullying tend to run rampant amongst peers in school and other social circles. Anything that makes your body look abnormal can make some teens feel like a target for unsolicited negative comments.
What causes pubertal and adolescent gynecomastia? In most cases, gynecomastia in teens and pre-teens is due to an imbalance in hormones. When estrogen and testosterone become unbalanced, and there is more estrogen than the usual amount, adolescent boys can develop more breast tissue, leading to gynecomastia. Steroid use can also cause gynecomastia in adolescents. Less common causes of gynecomastia that can be ruled out by being tested are chronic liver disease, hypogonadism, and testicular tumors.
There are instances where adolescent gynecomastia goes away on its own with time. 75 to 90 percent of adolescents with gynecomastia see their excess breast tissue go away in 1 to 3 years after it develops. In other cases, the gynecomastia continues to persist, growing larger man boobs that can become firm and cause physical pain and discomfort to the adolescent.
Adolescent gynecomastia may develop in boys as young as 10 and typically peaks around ages 13 or 14. Factors to consider if it’s time for adolescent gynecomastia surgery include how persistent the gynecomastia is, if it causes pain to the adolescent, and the adolescent’s overall mental and physical discomfort.
Dr. Delgado will typically do adolescent gynecomastia surgery for boys who are around 13 or 14. He is a firm believer that the right age for gynecomastia surgery is when the excess breast tissue is negatively impacting boys, both socially and psychologically.
Surgery for adolescent gynecomastia is incredibly successful, particularly because adolescents are young and have elastic skin. Most adolescent gynecomastia surgeries involve gland excision with liposuction, where the excess breast tissue is removed, and the remaining tissue and skin are contoured.
Ready for a free consultation with Dr. Delgado, a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 30 years of experience? To learn more about adolescent gynecomastia surgery in San Francisco, CA, call (415) 989-2221 or fill out the online contact form to schedule your consultation.