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Company logo: Elliot W. Jacobs, MD, FACS - Diplomate, American Board Of Plastic Surgery

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Speaking Out for Adolescents with Gynecomastia

teen gynecomastia

We are always pleased when we come across good information published covering teen gynecomastia. The fact is, adolescent gynecomastia – including enlarged male breasts in young men just past puberty – is quite common. Unfortunately, the condition is not necessarily well understood, even by physicians, and all too often young men are given misinformation.

To be fair, some aspects of the mechanisms triggering the rapid and profound physical changes of puberty remain partially unexplained. Endocrinologists are still working to unlock some of the mysteries surrounding hormones and the changes they cause in the human body. For instance, it has not yet been determined if young men with enlarged breasts have greater than average levels of estrogen or whether the small amount of breast tissue every male has is extra sensitive to estrogen for some people.

But while we don’t yet know the exact cause of many cases of gynecomastia in adolescents, those of us who specialize in male breast reduction do know that the condition often does not disappear with time. Teens and young men who are advised to “tough it out” and wait for their moobs to go away are often disappointed when the masculine chest they dream of never materializes. And those precious years are filled with shame and embarrassment.

That’s why we were so pleased to read about TJ Perry, a student at the University of Texas, who went public with his personal struggle with man boobs. In an article in the University Star, the college’s newspaper, TJ discussed how his physique impacted his life. He told the Star that he was teased because of his condition, unwilling to pursue dating and generally pretty miserable. “It was a big self-esteem downer,” he commented.

TJ was appalled to find out that insurance companies most often do not cover male breast reduction surgery. He was lucky enough to find a way to get the operation for himself, but he knows that others are not so fortunate. Wanting other young men to be spared the depression and “hurt on the inside” he suffered, TJ teamed with his mother to start a foundation to assist others who struggle with gynecomastia. The non-profit TJ Perry Foundation for Gynecomastia will raise money to help fund plastic surgery.

We admire TJ for taking such a proactive step to help others deal with man boobs. Establishing an organization to raise money for surgery is a wonderful, empowering way to take a stand against this debilitating condition. But we applaud this young man for something even more fundamental: simply speaking out. It’s not often that a man, especially a young man, has the courage to talk publicly about his personal gynecomastia journey.

Information is power, as the saying goes, and that certainly is the case with a condition like enlarged male breasts. TJ says “ignorant people may laugh at this issue, and people need to be informed.” We could not agree more.

We very much enjoy treating adolescent gynecomastia in New York. There’s almost no one more joyful than a young man who feels he has been given a whole new outlook on life and his future. If you’re struggling with moobs, why not fill out our consultation form online? We have treated hundreds of young people and we would be happy to share the information we have with you.

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