Gynecomastia is both a benign and cosmetic condition that has profound effects on the psycho, social development of any young teenager. Dr. Lebowitz understands and wants to help all the young teens that have gone through shame, bullying, and embarrassing remarks throughout their social settings.
WHAT IS ADOLESCENT GYNECOMASTIA?
Nearly half of teenage boys, typically between the ages of 11 through 14, struggle with gynecomastia (male breast enlargement) for years with negative body-image issues and are often horrified, ashamed, and afraid of outside ridicule. Although the exact development of gynecomastia is unknown, certainly hormones play a great part. There are of course hereditary factors at play as well…
A young teen will typically experience an increase in the natural production of testosterone along with changes in their estrogen levels during puberty. This “imbalance” of estrogen and testosterone or whether the small amount of innate breast tissue, which is naturally present in every male, is just extraordinarily sensitive to such hormonal changes.
Gynecomastia in young teens can appear and go away in as little as a few months to a year; however, in many cases the glandular tissue will continue to grow and become permanent. It has been estimated that more than one-third of the male population has some degree of gynecomastia, most of which occurred during puberty.
THE EFFECTS OF GYNECOMASTIA ON ADOLESCENTS
Many young teens walk “hunched” over or wear various layers of shirts to hide their gynecomastia. They also refuse to even participate in sports or other social activities, specifically going to the gym, or a public beach or pool. Dr. Lebowitz has had patients that decided they were better off deliberately becoming obese because it was more acceptable to be overweight than to have enlarged breasts.
These young men tend to suffer in silence and are typically afraid to even bring the issue to up their parents. Dr. Lebowitz requires all patients under the age of 18 to get permission from their parents in order to have their consultation, which is a difficult first step for them. No young man should have a crushed self-esteem because of gynecomastia!
THE BEST ADVICE I CAN GIVE TO A PARENT
All boys will go through puberty… There bodies are changing and their hormones are going all over the place. If your son approaches you to discuss his body and emotions, please do not brush him off! If he does not say anything to you, then you need to reach out and talk to him. Let him know that you are there for him and he can count on your support.
Gynecomastia will NOT go away with diet and exercise! Telling him to watch what he eats and trying to motivate him into going to the gym will not solve the underlying issue. My advice is to wait it out for at least six months to a year to see if it goes away on its own. If its persistent or continues to grow, then his only option is to get the surgery.
MY APPROACH TO ADOLESCENT GYNECOMASTIA
Many doctors will say – “wait it out until you are 18 years old.” This is an unacceptable answer, especially if the boy is between 11 and 14 years old and has had gynecomastia present for more than a year. There is no reason for a young teenager to suffer through their remaining teenage years in hopes of it disappearing when it will not.
The best thing to do is get the surgery. A young teenage man needs this time in their life to build their self-confidence and social skills. Gynecomastia is purely physical, glandular tissue and/or fat, but the psychological treatment itself is way more important. I want all of my young teen patients to have that weight lifted off their chest.
I’ve performed surgery on young teens to promote a healthy and emotional maturity of their teenage years. The entire procedure is performed under local anesthesia, within Dr. Lebowitz’s private, clean and comfortable operating room in Huntington, Long Island NY. The entire surgery can take 1-3 hours to perform, depending if the patient requires just an excision, VaserLipo or a combination of both procedures, and if the patient has gynecomastia on one side vs. both sides.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER YOUNG TEEN GYNECOMASTIA SURGERY?
Dr. Lebowitz wants all his Gynecomastia patients to have CLOSURE, for both physical and psychological reasons. He will personally communicate with each teen patient and gives complete instructions to help speed their recovery. All of his patients immediately change their posture and overall attitude once the gland is removed. They have more self-confidence, can’t wait to wear form-fitting clothing for the first time in years, and return back to the gym in order to get a more muscular physique.
Are you a young teenager experiencing Gynecomastia? Discuss your concerns with your parents and pediatrician. Remember, if this is from puberty, it could go away in a couple of months or a year. If it persists for more than that, it could increase in size and surgery is your only option. With your parent’s approval, you can call my office for a free consultation – 631.424.0101. I can provide the consultation via Skype or FaceTime if you’re from out of town.