We counsel teens with gynecomastia at least monthly, and it’s our pleasure to meet them and share what we’ve learned in thirty plus years of man boob surgery. With the right young patient and the correct timing for surgery, it’s a real joy to perform the procedure that changes everything.
What’s unfortunate is when we meet an older patient who has had moobs since his teen years. They almost inevitably tell us about misconceptions they heard early on, and sometimes those mistaken ideas led them to avoid considering surgery. Years without optimal quality of life can easily be the result.
What’s more, sometimes the input youngsters get about enlarged breasts comes from pediatricians and other doctors. These physicians have a broad-ranging role, and they usually just don’t know the ins and outs of the condition as well as plastic surgeons who specialize in man boobs do.
Here are some of the things guys tell us they were led to believe about teen gynecomastia:
1) It will go away on its own.
According to American Family Physician, up to half of all adolescent boys will experience breast enlargement during puberty. And it’s actually true that the majority of young men will lose the unwanted tissue over a period of a few months or up to about two years. But for some unlucky youngsters, gynecomastia persists.
It’s hard enough to sprout a pair of breasts and wait for them to shrink back to normal. When they don’t dissipate after months of hoping, the teen years can become a true nightmare.
2) It can come back after surgery.
We understand the thinking here, sort of. If a young man hasn’t quite reached physical maturity, maybe tissue will re-grow after it has been removed. We assure our teen gynecomastia patients that this isn’t the case. If man boobs have stabilized and not changed much in two years, they can be removed without fear of recurrence.
That said, it’s important for patients to understand the triggers of unwanted breast growth and avoid them. Here’s some information.
3) Surgery is a drastic step.
In our view, for a good candidate, surgery is not a drastic step at all. Our instruments touch skin, fat and breast gland—we don’t impact chest muscles. And we certainly do not penetrate the abdominal cavity. There will be some discomfort during the initial healing period, but the procedure itself is straightforward. Of course, patients need to choose a highly experienced, board certified plastic surgeon to ensure safety, comfort and great results.
We often say our teen gynecomastia patients fare at least as well—if not better—than older guys. Bouncing back from surgery is easier on the young, right?
Another thing guys hear when they’ve got a pair of man boobs in their teens: don’t have surgery until age 18. With life intervening thereafter—college, first jobs, trying to save money and so on—this means we may not end up seeing them for man boob surgery until they hit their 20s, 30s and beyond.
This is fine, of course. We’ve operated on boys as young as 12 and men into their 70s—there are more important criteria than the number of years someone has lived. But it’s unfortunate when patients have suffered needlessly because of wrongheaded advice.
If you’re a teen with gynecomastia, and you’ve had the condition for a while, the best advice we can give you is to bring your parents and come in for a consultation. We will be glad to give you the benefit of our experience and answer all your questions. Then you can decide as a family what course of action is best.
Fill out our contact form and let’s take it from there.
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Reach out to Dr. Jacobs today to schedule your consultation!