Nothing is more troubling than a problem with your child. A parent’s first reaction is to get the issue fixed as soon as possible. When it comes to excess breast tissue, however, many parents may wonder when is the right time to ask for help.
The Development of Gynecomastia:
Puberty marks the change from boyhood into manhood. The body’s testosterone (male hormones) and estrogen (female hormones) are responsible for these changes. During this time period, breast buds will begin to develop in both girls and boys. Normally, after about a year, the male breast bud will disappear. When the breast fullness does not resolve, the condition is called idiopathic Gynecomastia.
The Trauma of Gynecomastia:
Unfortunately, parents may have a hard time deciphering their son’s emotional struggle with large breasts. It is assumed that because the boy is generally acting the same, he is coping well with the condition; much of the time, that is not the case. The teen and young-adult years are critical in social/physical development. The appearance is key to ‘fitting in’ and boys ashamed of their body may withdraw from social activities. The humiliation and confusion of full breasts can result in lifelong psychological damage, social isolation, anxiety, and depression.
When should a parent worry?
The general recommendation is to give the Gynecomastia 12 to 24 months to fully resolve on its own. If, after this time, the teen is still dealing with excess breast tissue, surgical correction may be necessary. A male breast reduction is a valuable treatment option that can restore a young adult’s confidence and self-esteem.
How old is ‘old enough’ for surgery?
A Male Breast Reduction is not normally considered for children under the age of fourteen. This is for several reasons. First, there is a high chance the Gynecomastia will resolve on its own, as the body’s fluctuation of male and female hormones regulates. Second, due to the risks of surgery, an elective procedure is not performed unless there is a serious need. Once a boy has reached his mid to late teens, if his Gynecomastia has been present for over a year, a Male Breast Reduction can be performed.
Dr. Vitenas sees both teens and adults for Gynecomastia consults. This appointments complementary, and can provide a time to learn more about excess male breast tissue and the available choices for correction. Take a few minutes to schedule your son’s consultation at Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery by calling (281) 668-7370.