Author Topic: 15 yo son is getting depressed. How early is too early for surgery?  (Read 2594 times)

Offline jones235

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My 15yo son began getting breasts at 9yo when he had gained weight. He's 15 & recently had a growth spurt & grew 4" in height.  He's currently 5'8, 160#. He's an athlete so he's in shape but doesn't have any significant muscle tone.   No matter how much weight he loses, the breasts remain.

I noticed him getting depressed and he's not confident playing sports anymore & he's always been an outstanding athlete but we notice that his chest is causing great distress for him.  For this reason, he's quitting his sports one by one.  We bought him a home gym recently and he has started working out. He has been hoping this will cause his breasts to go away and I'm afraid he'll have false hope.  As his mother, I feel his pain because I had a breast reduction at 16 and I felt the same. 

I called a plastic surgeon, one who is featured on this site, & their office said he's too young.  The only way they will see him is if I get a letter from his pediatrician.  I have this appt scheduled in 2 wks.

Is 15 considered too young?   He's going into high school and I don't want this holding him back anymore than it already has.  He's popular, good-looking yet very self-conscious of this problem so I need some advice on what we should do.

Offline prabal

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I would love to help. I am not an expert and have very limited knowledge but as i also suffer from gynecomastia, i know how depressing it can be especially for teenagers.

U should try to motivate him as much as u can. Everyone has one or other problem in life and face a degree of depression. God chose him coz noone else ( in his school or friend circle ) was strong enough to handle the gyno problem. And he can beat it! Afterall its just a lump of tissue and meat.

As for his age, in my opinion he can get a surgery done. But do discuss the problems or sideeffects with the surgeon like crater formation and everything.

All the best! hope i helped. Tell the champ not to worry and keep the hopes up high everything will be fine :) tc

sorry for my bad english

Offline captain chesty

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On the forum menu there is a 'ask a doctor' section, you could try posting there for a professional opinion if your stuck for a response.

Personally I have no idea about age and surgery. However, I can confirm that in the vast majority of cases exercise including weightlifting will not suffice and the gynecomastia requires excision surgery. The exception is when particularly overweight individuals see a reduction in breast size from the weight loss associated with exercise, and even then a component of the breast tissue will remain. Although I appreciate you say your son is in shape.

Best of luck in finding a solution.

Offline puffynipsman

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The fact that you're on this site means you're miles ahead of most parents in both research and understanding. Gynecomastia can be quite traumatic for teenage boys, especially when they feel no one understands and they can't talk to their parents about it.

Your son is going through what many of us went through as teenagers. I was told by my family doctor that if I lost weight and worked out, even though I was already slim, it would make my gynecomastia go away or at least become less noticeable. Unfortunately, when there is gland involved, no amount of working out will hide that. In fact, if you build up the chest muscles, it makes the gland stick out even farther!

Since his BMI is within the normal range and he started developing breasts at 9 years old, I'd recommend seeing an endocrinologist to make sure he doesn't have any underlying hormonal problems. If his tests come back normal, and his breasts are no longer growing, it might be time to consider surgery with a respected gynecomatia surgeon--one who will perform both lipo and gland excision and who has done many gynecomastia surgeries.

I wish you and your son the best.

Offline Dr. Elliot Jacobs

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    • Gynecomastia Surgery
I have seen a number of adolescents with stable gyne from an early age and who have had it for several years.  In fact, I have operated on boys as young as 12 years old -- with no problems and no recurrence of their gyne.  Age alone should not be a barrier to surgery if it is indicated.

I do insist on speaking to both parents as well as the teen about the problem.  And then I speak to and examine the teen alone -- just to make sure that he truly wants the surgery.

It is my absolute belief that age should not determine if a young man should suffer continued embarrassment, teasing and ridicule.

Find another surgeon!

Dr Jacobs
Dr. Jacobs 
Certified: American Board of Plastic Surgery
Fellow: American College of Surgeons
Practice sub-specialty in Gynecomastia Surgery
4800 North Federal Highway
Boca Raton, Florida 33431
561  367 9101
Website:  http://www.gynecomastianewyork.c

Offline jones235

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Thank you all for your replies.  I appreciate the feedback more than you know. I've made an appt with his pediatrician to get her recommendation then we'll see where we can go from there.  Thanks again!!

Offline xelnaga13

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Never underestimate the impact gyno may have on your son's psyche.

Offline Neil123

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As puffynipsman mentioned you are miles ahead of other parents. Great job! Gyne is not well understood by perhaps 99% of the parents unless the father has gyne too.
correct, no weight lifting please. but here is what will improve it:
- Cardio (like jogging and bike)- reduce any fat
- pushups - will flatten/tone his chest further.

Sometimes the above are enough to improve it significantly even if not eliminate, reduce to a size that no longer bothers the person.
keep in mind it is NOT supposed to be flat!!! we men have breasts too just very small.
so in a way, everyone has gyne just in different sizes.. yes, can vary greatly but still it is a combination of size and how the person perceives it. now that the surgeons here (who are still very nice!) will not tell you but it's true:)

now, if he has huge gyne sure surgery ..

« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 10:12:02 PM by Neil123 »

Offline dussaghun

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My son is 13 and had a very severe case of gynecomastia.  I say had because in December he had surgery.  It was the best thing we could have done for our son.  The difference is amazing not only in his body but his attitude, confidience and self esteem.  Just be aware even after talking to your doctor, they may not give you a referral.  I had taken my son twice to doctors and both times were told it would go away.    I am no doctor but I am not stupid either and after seeing my son 's chest, knew it would not just go away.  Please do all your research, read my son's story under " your stories". Surgery yesterday for thirteen old and if you have any questions I will help you in anyway I can.


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