Recommended Age for Male Breast Reduction?

My son is 14 yrs old, he has quite large breasts, he is slightly overweight but his breasts are getting bigger. The surgeon said he has cyst behind his nipple and they need to be removed and he also needs lipo on them. Is this ok for him to proceed at his age? He has never had any surgery nor anesthetic.

Doctor Answers 21

Gynecomastia for Teens

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Gynecomastia, often referred to derisively as ‘man-boobs’, is endemic in the United States. While gynecomastia can be associated with excess body mass and obesity, many males I see for gynecomastia reduction surgery are not overweight, but simply have experienced the spontaneous proliferation of fibrous breast tissue on one or both sides of their chest, for reasons that medical science currently cannot fully explain.

For young men and teens with gynecomastia, the problem can create a vicious cycle of self-consciousness and social withdrawal. With breast area enlargement, a boy gradually becomes insecure about his appearance without a shirt on or even in workout clothing. They begin to avoid social situations in which their chest appearance is obvious (the gym, the pool, pickup games), and sometimes come to avoid sporting activity of any kind. This can potentially damage their psychosocial development and has a profoundly negative effect on their sense of well-being and quality of life.

It certainly is possible that some gynecomastia may improve without surgical intervention after a few years, particularly in very young teens. However, if my own sons had gynecomastia that persisted beyond two years, particularly if they are fifteen or over, I would certainly support their decision to go forward with this surgery.  

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Male Breast Reduction: Treatment of Gynecomastia

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It is normal for males going through puberty to experience some breast enlargment. Because of this, treatment of male breast enlargement, referred to as 'gynecomastia', is typically delayed until the patient is at least 18 years old. However, there are some cases where this procedure may be necessary earlier and it can be done safely.

Adolescent Gynecomastia- When to Operate

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Hi nikki2626,

Thanks for the post. This is a very important topic as gynecomastia can affect a significant number of teenage boys.  It is not unusual for boys going through puberty to experience some form of breast enlargement. In the vast majority of them, it resolves in the space of 2-3 years. For that reason I typically do not advise surgery unless they have had the issue for longer than that. In addition, one needs to ensure that there are no other medical issues that may be responsible for the gynecomastia. For these reasons, I advise to be seen by a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in gynecomastia surgery.


Dr. Dadvand

Babak Dadvand, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Recommended Age for Male Breast Reduction?

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Thank you for the question.
There is no specific age that surgery is recommended for teenager boys with  gynecomastia. I think the best medicine involves evaluation of the patient by his pediatrician and referral to a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon when causes of  gynecomastia have been ruled out/ treated.
Generally, it will be best for the young man to be as physically and emotionally mature prior to proceeding with surgery. This “maturity” will improve the chances of successful outcome (as well as an understanding of the procedure and its potential risks/complications)  and minimize the chances that further surgery will be necessary in the future.
It will also behoove the young man to be at a long-term stable weight prior to proceeding with surgery.
I would suggest in-person consultation with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons.
Best wishes.

Gynecomastia Treatment Best When At Least 18 Years Old

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                  Changes in the male breast are not uncommon following puberty. In some cases breast growth may occur for several years following this event. In addition, patients who develop gynecomastia often experience spontaneous resolution of this condition. For these reasons treatment of gynecomastia is typically delayed until patients are at least eighteen years of age.

                  There are always exceptions to the rule and it’s important that these be recognized. In some cases gynecomastia may cause severe psychosocial problems and for this reason surgery should be performed at an early age. In other cases the magnitude of gynecomastia may be so severe that early intervention may be necessary. Under these circumstances a secondary revision may be necessary at a later date.

                  If concerns regarding this condition exist, consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is appropriate. 

Adolescent Male Breast Reduction

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Ideally, gynecomastia surgery is delayed until full development, around age 18 after adolescent hormonal influenced breast development ceases. Sometimes it will resolve to a degree afterwards. Also if your child is overweight, often the breasts will diminish with weight loss once in the normal range. However I have operated on several adolescent males to develop gynecomastia for those stigmatized and  traumatized by the size of his breasts in severe cases with good results. Yes it is possible they will grow again and another procedure may be required for best results, Discuss the risk vs benefits with your board certified plastic surgeon that has experience in this age group. 

Age for gynecomastia surgery

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Ideally, surgery is performed at about age 18 because it is not uncommon for adolescent males to develop gynecomastia which then resolves later in their teens. However, if your son is particularly traumatized by the size of his breasts and has a severe case, I would operate sooner. For example, I treated two brothers with familial gynecomastia who were champion swimmers but embarrassed to take off their shirts because of breast size. Both went on to win championships as well as full athletic scholarships and then I operated on their father and grandfather. If your son is overweight, my first recommendation would be a weight loss program to assess whether this improves the condition. Also, hormonal abnormalities should be ruled out prior to the decision for surgery.

Surgery is usually at 18

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We usually wait until thte boy has stopped growing and maybe even started tok get smaller. Many boys,like me, out grew it in the late teens and twenties.

Nasimul Huq, MD
Niagara Falls Plastic Surgeon
3.7 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Gynecomastia Surgery on Adolescent, yes or no /an Important subject

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It is a common occurrence in adolescent and therefore an extremely important subject. It is crucial to the mental welfare of those young adolescent who suffer from a very sever Gynecomastia. Those severe cases can becomes permanent and may define the rest of the Young's person future. I agree that it should be done by Plastic Surgeons with vast experience with Gynecomastia.It is worthwhile to find a Gynecomasia Surgeon even if it means you have to travel.

Mordcai Blau, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Recommended age for male breast reduction surgery.

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Male breast reduction is performed when the condition is a concern for the patient.  If done in early teens, a secondary procedure may be necessary.

Robert Sleightholm, MD
Brampton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

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.