There is nothing a mom won ‘t do for her children. Unfortunately, when an unexpected – and often unheard of – physical issue arises, many mothers become frozen, not knowing what to do. As a mom, you can see there is something unusual going on in your pre-pubescent son, his body is changing in a less than desirable way, with swollen breasts and soft, distended areola/nipples. Thoughts go through your mind: will this go away on its own? Should I wait it out or seek help? These are the normal and unnerving questions every mom of a gynecomastia patient repeatedly asks herself.
Be on the Lookout for the First, Subtle Signs of Gynecomastia:
Boys as young as 11 or 12 may start to show signs of enlarged breasts. However, as their bodies are rapidly changing, heading into puberty, most mothers think little about this change. In many situations, moms do not even get a good enough glimpse of her son ‘s chest to be able to note the slow changes to his breasts, especially if he becomes self-conscious about his appearance.
Even if you do not get the chance to eyeball your son ‘s chest routinely, look when you can, and pay close attention to his behavior, as well. Suddenly swimming with his shirt on, or refusing to take off their shirt in front of anyone else, may be a clue to enlarged breasts. Additionally, if their normal cheery, outgoing disposition becomes more sullen or reserved, he may be struggling with teasing from other boys about his body. Investigate further, and if protruding breasts seem to be negatively impacting his confidence and self-esteem, just remember there is help for this condition.
Improving the Appearance of a Teen ‘s Growing Male Breasts:
Enlarged male breasts, especially when the result of hormonal fluctuations, may return to their usual appearance over time, as the balance of testosterone and estrogen returns to normal. While waiting out this process is certainly possible, it is best done with an experienced doctor as your guide, to reassure you and your son along the way. For those teens who do not see significant improvement in a year ‘s time, or are deeply troubled by this continued change in their breast size, medical intervention may be necessary.
A board certified plastic surgeon offers several male breast reduction techniques that can dramatically improve a teen ‘s protruding breasts, and restore a smooth, masculine chest. Liposuction involves several very small, and well-concealed, incisions. It is through these incisions that a tiny cannula (tube) is placed, suctioning out the undesirable fatty tissue. Excision, cutting out excess glandular tissue, is also a valuable option. This requires a slightly larger incision, but any scarring is hidden within the natural curvature of the breast or areola. Using either technique, or a combination of both, an experienced doctor can sculpt the chest and create a taut, flat breast. During this procedure, a large or distended areola/nipple can also be resized to create a natural-looking chest.
Gynecomastia correction is performed on an outpatient basis, meaning no overnight hosptial stay. Recovery takes only a couple of days, and with minimal scarring, so no one will ever know the procedure was done. The male breast reduction is safe and effective, with little chance for complications. As the residual swelling fades over the next week or two, significant improvement can be expected.
How should a mom get started when helping a son with gynecomastia?
There is no substitute for a board certified plastic surgeon, experienced in treating gynecomastia in teens and adults. He/she can diagnose the condition, help find the root cause, and determine the right time and technique for your son ‘s male breast reduction.
If you are in the Houston-area, schedule a gynecomastia consultation with Dr. Paul Vitenas. With 30 years of experience, Dr. Vitenas is Houston ‘s top male breast reduction surgeon. Call Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery at (281) 668-7370 to learn more, letting us guide you and your son through the maze of gynecomastia correction.