Gynecomastia: Not Just a Cosmetic Issue
By Michael A. Devlin, MD on October 01, 2014
Male Breast Reduction in Little Rock Arkansas
When most people hear about procedures to remove excess breast tissue and skin, they associate it with women. Gynecomastia is enlargement of the male breast tissue. Gynecomastia commonly occurs in boys during puberty, with up to 69% of adolescents affected by the condition at some point in their lifetime. Gynecomastia can even persist into adulthood. In fact, more than one-third of all adult males may be suffering from this condition. Surgery to correct this condition is usually recommended.
Although treatment guidelines for Gynecomastia are commonly known, the psychological impact of gynecomastia on adolescent boys has remained unknown until now. In a new study released, boys with gynecomastia were compared to healthy, unaffected peers of the same age and with respect to physical, social and emotional well-being. The adolescents with gynecomastia were found to have significantly lower measures of mental health, self-esteem and social functioning. Boys with gynecomastia also had higher rates of disordered eating thoughts and behaviors than their peers.
These findings suggest that gynecomastia is more than just a cosmetic issue. Adolescents with the condition may suffer psychologically as a result of their breast condition. Parents and patients should be aware of the psychosocial issues associated with gynecomastia, and consider early evaluation for adolescents suffering from this condition, regardless of severity. Early surgical treatment may also be necessary to improve these adverse emotional and social effects.
Despite this evident lower quality of life, the cost of surgical correction for adolescent gynecomastia is usually not covered by most insurance plans. In my practice, about 10% of surgeries for gynecomastia were reimbursed by insurance companies, compared to the overwhelming 60% of breast reductions. Providers, patients, parents and third-party payers need to recognize the detrimental effects of gynecomastia. The negative psychosocial effects of gynecomastia can no longer be denied.
If you or a loved one suffers with gynecomastia, call the office of Dr. Michael Devlin to see how we can help.
Related to This
“Dr. Devlin helped me rewrite the ending to my journey from fat to fabulous. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” Lisa Bordeaux, from a Google+ Review