The chest of a man with without shirt

Gynecomastia, the development of enlarged breast tissue in males, can be a source of significant physical and psychological discomfort. While surgery is often considered an effective treatment option, determining the ideal time to undergo gynecomastia surgery requires careful consideration of various factors, including age, underlying causes, and individual circumstances. In this blog, we’ll explore some non-surgical interventions for addressing gynecomastia, review the advantages of male breast reduction, and discuss the benefits of waiting until one’s early to mid-20s to see if the condition resolves before undergoing surgery.

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Why Wait (Or Not) Until Your 20s for Gynecomastia Surgery?

For adolescents and young adults experiencing gynecomastia, it’s often recommended to wait until the early 20s before considering surgery. When this condition begins during puberty, it can be temporary and may resolve on its own as hormonal fluctuations stabilize.

However, when gynecomastia develops in puberty, it usually resolves, if it is going to resolve, within two years. If does not resolve, it often becomes persistent into adulthood. Young teenagers who are afflicted by gynecomastia can have a very difficult time waiting until reaching their 20th birthday. They can suffer serious and potentially irreparable psychological and social shame during those crucial developmental years.
Dr. Miguel Delgado has performed gynecomastia surgery on teens as young as 14 years old. A team decision with parents, pediatrician, patient, and endocrinologist should be reached to determine what is best for a child and their development. These young men, at times, are severely depressed. Getting teased regularly in public becomes a torment with a significant impact on their development.

If you are struggling with gynecomastia, a cautious approach will ensure that a male breast reduction procedure is pursued only when necessary. Some patients decide to give their bodies time to undergo natural changes and see if the condition persists or resolves spontaneously. But if waiting until your early 20s to address the problem will create other serious issues, it’s important to know your options and know that we understand your dilemma.

When Gynecomastia Surgery May Not Be the Best Solution

Sometimes, what looks like gynecomastia (excess glandular breast tissue) is actually pseudogynecomastia, a condition defined by the presence of excess fat in the chest, usually localized behind the areolas and nipples. In this case, liposuction is the best approach.

In other cases, gynecomastia may be caused or exacerbated by factors that can be addressed without surgery. These include:

  • Obesity and Lifestyle

    Excess weight and poor habits, such as lack of exercise and unhealthy diet, can contribute to gynecomastia. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and an appropriate diet, individuals can reduce body fat and improve overall body composition, potentially reducing the appearance of enlarged breasts. Chest exercises and weight lifting are also recommended.

  • Hormonal Imbalances

    Elevated estrogen levels or decreased testosterone levels can contribute to gynecomastia. In some cases, hormone therapy may be prescribed to restore hormonal balance and alleviate breast enlargement. Hormone therapy is done by an endocrinologist.

  • Medications

    Certain medicines, including anabolic steroids, antidepressants, anti-androgens, and several psychiatric medications, can cause or exacerbate gynecomastia as a side effect. Switching to alternative medications or adjusting dosage under medical supervision may help alleviate symptoms.

A primary care physician or specialist can address these underlying causes of excess male breast tissue, distinguish between pseudogynecomastia and true gynecomastia, provide guidance to patients, and help determine  if male breast reduction is the best solution.

Top 5 Benefits of Male Breast Reduction Surgery

When conservative measures fail to resolve gynecomastia or when the condition causes significant physical or psychological distress, surgery may be recommended. This procedure, also known as reduction mammaplasty, involves removing excess breast tissue and reshaping the chest for a more masculine contour.

Five benefits of male breast reduction surgery include:

1. Improved Appearance

Gynecomastia surgery can dramatically improve the appearance of the chest, reducing the size of enlarged breasts and creating a more masculine contour.

2. Enhanced Self-Confidence

Gynecomastia can have a profound impact on self-esteem and body image. Male breast reduction surgery can help restore confidence and improve quality of life by alleviating feelings of embarrassment and self-consciousness.

3. Physical Comfort

Enlarged male breast tissue can lead to physical discomfort, chafing, and irritation. Gynecomastia surgery can alleviate these symptoms and improve overall comfort.

4. Clothing Options

Many individuals with gynecomastia struggle to find clothing that fits well and flatters their bodies. Male breast reduction surgery can expand clothing options and allow individuals to wear form-fitting shirts and swimwear with confidence.

5. Long-Term Results

With proper post-operative care and maintenance, including a proper diet and exercise, the results of male breast reduction surgery are typically permanent or long-lasting, providing enduring benefits and improved quality of life for years to come.

Deciding to Undergo Male Breast Reduction

Determining the ideal time for gynecomastia surgery requires careful consideration of various factors, including age, underlying causes, and individual circumstances. Waiting until one’s early 20s to see if the condition resolves naturally can prevent unnecessary surgery and ensure that treatment is pursued only when necessary.

Additionally, non-surgical interventions, such as lifestyle changes, hormone therapy, and medication review, may offer practical alternatives for addressing gynecomastia. However, when conservative measures fail to produce the desired results, male breast reduction surgery can provide significant physical and psychological benefits.

Men seeking to improve their appearance, self-confidence, and overall quality of life by undergoing gynecomastia surgery should consult a board-certified plastic surgeon to achieve ideal results.

Male Breast Reduction in San Francisco, CA

Dr. Miguel Delgado is a well-respected, board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in gynecomastia surgery in the Bay Area. To learn more, call 415.989.2221 and schedule a consultation.

We also have an office in Novato, California, and you can reach this location by calling 415.898.4161.

Dr. Delgado Bio


Dr. Delgado, MD is a world-recognized plastic surgeon and specialist in the treatment of male breast enlargement, also called gynecomastia. He has developed new techniques and owns and operates, which has become the largest gynecomastia forum in the world. Dr. Delgado holds the two most coveted credentials; the certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgery.