Being a parent is a huge responsibility. As kids grow, moms and dads come to expect the unexpected. However, it is almost impossible for a parent to prepare for the potential physical and emotional difficulties that can arise. One surprising issue, although not uncommon, is gynecomastia – or enlarged male breasts.
Devastating World of Adolescent “Man Boobs”
Gynecomastia can appear at any age. However, the development of excess breast tissue is most common during periods of hormonal fluctuations, such as infancy, adolescence, and the middle-age years. While obesity can be a factor, large male breasts are more often the result of a spontaneous proliferation of tissue. Other issues that can contribute to teenage gynecomastia include certain medications and illness.
Being a teenager is hard enough, but coupled with large, feminine-looking breasts can be overwhelming for a young man. Puffy, protruding breasts can send an adolescent into a spiral of low self-esteem and social withdrawal. Other kids can be particularly cruel with their teasing. Parents should be concerned if they notice their son avoiding social situations that require showing his chest, such as swimming or sports practice. This isolation can ultimately affect a young man’s psychosocial development and seriously impact their quality of life.
Teens and Gynecomastia Correction
In many cases, the excessive tissue associated with gynecomastia will resolve on its own, as the hormonal balance naturally shifts. However, this process may take from one to two years. If the excessive breast tissue does not decrease on its own, medical intervention may be necessary to restore a masculine chest.
Depending on the type of tissue present, gynecomastia correction can involve one or more specific techniques. Fatty tissue is best eliminated using liposuction, smoothing and flattening the chest. Glandular tissue will require excision. Many patients get optimal results from a combination of excision and liposuction. Additionally, a puffy or stretched nipple/areola can be reshaped and resized, giving the breast a more natural, proportionate look.
Is gynecomastia correction for your son?
Gynecomastia patients are among the happiest with their surgical results. The benefits of surgery can be seen immediately, although the full results will take several weeks, as any swelling resolves. Scarring, if any, will be well hidden within the natural creases of the skin/areola. In most cases, no one can tell a surgical procedure was ever performed. For teens, as well as adults, the most important benefit of surgery is restored confidence, which ultimately helps to build self-esteem.
While assisting your son through the physical crisis of an enlarged chest is a top priority, not every teen will make a good candidate for a surgical male breast reduction. To find out if gynecomastia correction could be for him, schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon. Dr. Paul Vitenas has close to 30 years of male breast reduction experience and is exceptionally skilled at performing gynecomastia correction on men of all ages. Call Houston’s Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery at 281.668.7370 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Vitenas, and find out if a male breast reduction could be right for your teen.