We have a very clear estimation of what the male chest should look like. Likewise, there is an expectation of the female chest. In the mind’s eye, a female breast does not belong on the male form. Therefore, the excessive growth of breast tissue in any man can lead to an ongoing struggle with self-esteem and quality of life. Here, we discuss what research has suggested about gynecomastia during adolescence and in adulthood. More importantly, we assure men who are affected by this condition that there is hope for a new and improved body.
Gynecomastia in the Teen Years
Research released by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) proposes that as much as 60% of teen boys develop some degree of gynecomastia during adolescence. Symptoms may range from puffy nipples and areola to full-blown “man boobs.” Whatever the degree of enlargement, it is believed that hormones are the primary cause of gynecomastia during the teen years. Also, whatever the degree of enlargement, it is vital that parents step into a very supportive role of their son. Excess breast tissue can be physically supported with compression garments. However, open dialogue and even therapy may be highly beneficial for the developing young man.
Young men whose breasts do not begin to flatten as they reach adulthood may be able to obtain treatment. A primary care doctor or endocrinologist may perform hormone testing to observe blood levels and discuss potential treatment options. Older teens may be able to seek male breast reduction with a plastic surgeon who is familiar with the nuances of gynecomastia.
Gynecomastia in Adulthood
The NIH research that estimated the percentage of teen boys with gynecomastia also suggested that approximately 65% of adult men have enlarged breasts. It is clear that hormones are also involved in the persistence of gynecomastia in adulthood. However, this problem may also be exacerbated by alcohol consumption and drug use. Adult gynecomastia may also relate to a thyroid disorder.
Meeting the Objective
Men with gynecomastia have one objective: to refine the shape of their chest. Substantial research has been conducted and points to one proven method, surgery. Although gynecomastia may have its origins in hormone regulation, the only way to correct the problem that has already started is to remove excess tissue.
Dr. D’Amico performs male breast reduction in a personalized manner. In some cases, liposuction is sufficient treatment. If the skin has lost elasticity or the breast glands are swollen, surgery may also involve gland removal and skin tightening for optimal results.