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Gynecomastia in Teens
Written by Dr. Babak Dadvand
The enlargement of the male pectoral area, which is a condition called gynecomastia, is fairly common among pubescent boys. Also known as physiologic gynecomastia, this condition affects around 66% of boys going through puberty.
Most teenage gynecomastia cases occur between the ages of 13 and 14, although this condition can happen at any point during puberty. Needless to say, puberty is an extremely challenging time for young boys as many of them go through physical and emotional changes that affect their development. At this age, gynecomastia can affect a teenager’s self-image and confidence, so it is important to consult with a specialist.
Dr. Dadvand, a double board-certified plastic surgeon, specializes in teen gynecomastia surgery in Los Angeles. He understands the negative effects that this condition can have on teenage boys, which is one of the reasons he dedicates a large part of his practice to these patients. If you want to learn more about Dr. Dadvand’s gynecomastia surgeries in LA, get in touch with his practice and book a consultation today.
Causes of Gynecomastia in Teens
During puberty, male bodies experience a surge in both estrogen and testosterone. However, these sudden fluctuations can affect hormonal ratios and produce imbalances that result in gynecomastia.
In 3 out of 4 cases, gynecomastia in teens disappears without treatment within 2 years. In 9 out of 10 cases, this condition will recede naturally within 3 years, so no treatment is required. However, there are cases where gynecomastia is permanent, so it is important to determine if a patient is a candidate for gynecomastia surgery as soon as possible.
The two most important factors to consider when treating teens with gynecomastia in Los Angeles are:
- When did the symptoms start?
- Are there other potential causes for gynecomastia in the patient?
At What Age Should Gynecomastia Surgery Take Place?
It is important to note that there is no “minimum age” for gynecomastia surgery. Dr. Dadvand examines each teenage patient individually to determine the need for this procedure. If the symptoms have been present for more than 2 years and there are no other potential causes, surgery is often recommended.
Below is a before and after photo of a teen with physiologic gynecomastia of his left chest. He underwent surgery in our Los Angeles facility to correct gynecomastia.
How Long Do the Results of Teenage Gynecomastia Last?
In gynecomastia cases where the condition was caused by the onset of puberty, the results of the surgery are usually permanent. Teens that have gynecomastia surgery do not typically experience symptoms after the procedure, except for cases of excessive weight gain or when taking medication known to produce male breast enlargement.
Risks Associated with Teenage Gynecomastia Surgery
Some of the potential risks and temporary side-effects associated with teenage gynecomastia surgery include, but are not limited to:
- Mild pain during the recovery
- Minimal chance of infection
- Visible scarring
- Breast asymmetry
- Fat necrosis
How Long Does Gynecomastia Last During Puberty?
In most cases, gynecomastia can last anywhere between 6 months and three years. If the symptoms persist for more than two years, gynecomastia surgery may be a positive alternative to help address the enlargement of male breasts in teenagers.
Is Gynecomastia Normal at 16?
While peak incident typically occurs around age 14, teenage gynecomastia is fairly common in 16-year-old males. Depending on when it started, this may well last until the age of 18 or more. Consulting with a gynecomastia expert is necessary in order to identify cases that may need surgery.
What Causes Gynecomastia in Teenage Males?
During puberty, the male body experiences hormonal changes and oftentimes irregularities. A sudden imbalance of testosterone-to-estrogen ratio can produce gynecomastia, which can last anywhere from 6 months to 3 years, or in some cases longer. In these cases, consulting with a board-certified gynecomastia specialist can help address these long-term symptoms that do not disappear over time.
Can You Get Rid of Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia disappears naturally in most cases, but it can produce prolonged effects in some teenagers. Moreover, there are many cases where fat deposits are left after the gynecomastia has vanished, which still produces an unwanted look. Gynecomastia surgery can help eliminate symptoms of this condition, including fat deposits that are often left afterward.
How Much Does Gynecomastia Surgery Cost?
The cost of a gynecomastia procedure varies depending on your location and the physician’s expertise. To get an accurate estimate, the best choice is to consult with a seasoned, double board-certified specialist that can assess your particular case and help determine the best course of action.