The teenage years aren’t easy to begin with, and hormone fluctuations during this time of life can cause a problem that is very embarrassing for a young man: gynecomastia (enlarged male breasts).
Gynecomastia can develop at several stages of life, and while gynecomastia in teens is often temporary, it can prove extremely damaging to self-confidence.
Causes & Treatment of Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia is caused by an imbalance of hormone levels in the body (excessive estrogen), which can be triggered by a number of different causes. These factors can include marijuana, steroids, prescription drugs, age, diseases, and various health problems.
Unfortunately, gynecomastia that is not related to obesity (known as pseudogynecomastia) is permanent, and cannot be resolved through any method except surgery. This is because hormonal imbalances cause solid breast tissue to form, which will not shrink on its own and must be removed by a surgeon.
Too Young for Treatment?
Gynecomastia in teens will generally resolve itself within one to two years, so most surgeons make it a general policy to not perform male breast reduction surgery on young men under the age of 18.
However, there is no developmental reason for delaying treatment, except to see if the problem will resolve itself on its own. Many young men are also not emotionally prepared for surgery, and should wait a few years to undergo gynecomastia treatment.
Unfortunately, many teens that suffer from gynecomastia endure a lot of teasing due to the condition, which can be emotionally difficult to tolerate over an extended period of time.
A Case-by-Case Basis
While most surgeons are extremely reluctant to operate on a young man under the age of 18, there are always exceptions to general age guidelines for treatment.
Sometimes, gynecomastia in teens that persists for a number of years can be treated before the age of 18, particularly if the teen is experiencing harsh bullying and psychological trauma.
The only way to determine whether or a teen is old enough to undergo surgery is to speak with a doctor such as a pediatrician or gynecomastia specialist in order to assess candidacy for treatment.
If you’re looking for a gynecomastia expert in New York, come visit our specialists in Long Island and NYC. Our skilled surgeons perform gynecomastia surgery at our AAAHC accredited surgery center, and can help you determine your candidacy, inform you of costs and financing options, discuss risks, and answer any questions at your free consultation. Call us today at 212-206-0023 or 631-499-1831 to schedule your appointment.