Being a parent, it is my responsibility to teach my kids to be confident and that confidence isn’t all about outward appearance. I am personally not a proponent of aesthetic plastic surgery for minors. But as a father of boys, I feel very empathetic towards boys and young men with gynecomastia. Breast reduction surgery is the only plastic surgery I perform on minors. If my boys are ever candidates for this procedure and have the desire, I would fully support their decision, even as teens, to have gynecomastia surgery.
Gynecomastia, sometimes referred to derisively as ‘man-boobs’, is endemic in the United States. While gynecomastia can be associated with excess body fat and obesity, many males I see for gynecomastia reduction surgery are not overweight. They simply have experienced the spontaneous proliferation of fibrous breast tissue on one or both sides of their chest, for reasons that medical science currently cannot fully explain. It has been found that some medications such as anti-anxiety medications, some antibiotics, certain heart medications, cancer treatments, anabolic steroids (which can lead to hormonal imbalance), and more. In these cases, the dosing of the medication may need to be adjusted or the medication stopped altogether.
For younger boys and teens that are living with gynecomastia, the issue of excess breast tissue can create a vicious cycle of self-consciousness and social withdrawal. With breast area enlargement due to excess glandular tissue, a boy can gradually become insecure about his appearance without a shirt or even in tighter clothing (such as workout clothing). In these situations, I have seen males begin to avoid social situations in which their chest appearance is obvious (the gym, the pool, pickup games), and sometimes come to avoid sporting activities altogether. This can potentially damage their psychosocial development and has a profoundly negative effect on their sense of well-being and quality of life.
An Increase In Gynecomastia Cases
There are many theories as to why there has been such a dramatic increase in the incidence of gynecomastia over the last few decades. Some believe it is because of the increase of pro-estrogenic hormones and chemical compounds such as antibiotics in meat and dairy products, and/or chemicals that we are exposed to in the environment (building materials, flame retardants, pesticides, etc.). No one can be absolutely certain what has caused the significant increase in gynecomastia, but I see enough gynecomastia patients with a normal body weight to know for certain that it is not simply due to the rising incidence of obesity.
As a board-certified plastic surgeon, I have experience performing many different plastic surgery procedures. I have noticed that Gynecomastia patients are among the happiest with their results. They are not only pleased with their more masculine chest appearance after male breast reduction surgery but also become more confident socially. The outcome of gynecomastia surgery can be truly life-changing, with young men immediately more socially confident and more socially active.
One very grateful set of parents recently shared with me that their son, who would never even remove his shirt around his family in the privacy of their home, was so happy with his improved appearance that he was frequently shirtless around the house, was back to hanging out with his buddies at the pool and was thinking of trying out for soccer for the upcoming school year. This kind of story is very typical of an adolescent male patient who has undergone gynecomastia surgery.
If you or your son is struggling with the excess tissue on his breasts, please do not hesitate to reach out to me today. I have ample experience performing minimally invasive male breast reduction surgery as well as other gynecomastia surgery techniques to correct the symptoms associated with gynecomastia. During this procedure, I will remove the enlarged male breast glands, as well as contour the chest area to achieve a more masculine-looking, sculpted chest.
Schedule a Gynecomastia Surgery Consultation
If you are interested in learning more about gynecomastia surgery (male breast reduction surgery) to improve the appearance of the male chest, contact my office today. I will be happy to speak with you about your male breast concerns and goals during a male breast reduction surgery consultation.