I'm 17 years old and I've had true gynecomastia for 4-5 years. The condition has seriously impacted upon my self-esteem and confidence, so obviously, I'm very eager to oust it! I'm not overweight, (my BMI is 19.4 and I do lots of cardio) I've never taken drugs and I have no underlying illnesses I'm aware of which could cause gynecomastia. Since it's been roughly 5 years, I'm doubtful it will ever go away; so is surgery a good option, or should I wait longer? Any advice would be much appreciated.
I'm 17 years old and I've had true gynecomastia for 4-5 years. Is Surgery a Good Option?
Doctor Answers (11)
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Have a consultation with an experienced Gynecomastia Surgeon.
You should visit the plastic surgeon web site to see his before and after pictures.It is important that the Gynecomastia Surgeon will remove about 95% of the gland to avoid reccurence.Usually liposuction alone is not sufficient.
Sounds like it is time. Most men tolerate the recovery extremely well and are gratified by the results.
Gynecomastia can be treated in several ways. Sometimes with just liposuction, sometimes with tissue excision, and sometimes skin excision is added as well. It really depends upon how extensive it is. An exam is key. Good luck.
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Surgical Options for Gynecomastia
What you describe is the typical presentation for gynecomastia. I often find that as a young adolescent matures and looses some weight the breasts can remain large. Many young boys with gynecomastia are embarrassed by their appearance and wear two shirts to hide the chest deformity. There are many surgical options for gynecomastia including liposuction and direct surgical excision, termed a subcutaneous mastectomy. Usually the excess skin will shrink down and the patient is left with a nice male chest contour. If your gynecomastia has been present for over 5 years it is unlikely that it will resolve on its own. Discuss your condition with your parents and schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon who is experienced with gynecomastia.
Best Time for Correction of Gynecomastia
Male breast enlargement is common at the time of puberty. If it does not go away on its own within two years it is likely to stay. If your gynecomastia has been present for 4-5 years this would be a good time to have it corrected. Surgery usually involves a combination of liposuction and removal of gland through small incisions. See my blog on this subject.
Surgery is a great option for gynecomastia and goes a long way to improving one's self esteem. The procedure is not difficult to go through but make sure you have an experienced plastic surgeon do the procedure to get the best results.
Is basically the only treatment. We see a large number of patients for this and I cannot tell you how many 40 year olds I see who have struggled with this all their lives after being told to wait and they will "grow out of it". If this is as you say the standard type of gynecomastia with no other predisposing causes surgery is effective and spares a lot of heart ache over the next decades.
Wait Until 18 Years Old To Proceed
We generally recommend waiting until patients are at least 18 years of age before proceeding with the surgical correction of gynecomastia. Never the less there are always exceptions to the rule. Although you’re only 17, you’re probably an excellent candidate for this type of procedure. Since your breast enlargement has been stable for five years, it’s probably not going to regress without surgery at this point in time. It’s also impacting your self-esteem and self-confidence and is adversely affecting the quality of your life.
For all these reasons treatment of gynecomastia is appropriate for you and consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon would be appropriate.
Based on the information in your question, you would be an excellent candidate for Gynecomastia Surgery. This is very common in your men your age. It is usually done outpatient with a combination of excising the tissue, and some liposuction. Every case is different, so I would encourage you to schedule a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to discuss the best course of action for you.
Gynecomastia at age 17 - what to do?
I firmly believe that treating the gynecomastia at an early age is best. It's not going to go away and will probably continue to be an issue for you. You should discuss this with your parents and go for a consultation. Remember, weight loss/gain, exercise, lifting, muscle building will not work. Don't get frustrated.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.