Dr. Lauren Greenberg explains how excessive male breast tissue development can occur in pubescent males, and advises on which treatments are typically effective.
Palo Alto, CA—Puberty results in many physical changes, explains Palo Alto plastic surgeon Lauren Greenberg, MD. In addition to the expected developmental transformations in height, voice, and genitalia, she indicates some young males experience a condition called gynecomastia, wherein they develop an excess of breast tissue more commonly found in women. She says in many cases this occurrence will be naturally corrected by the body after a few months; however, there are many causes of gynecomastia with long-term effects and may require surgical intervention.
Dr. Greenberg first clarifies what is gynecomastia and how this condition differs from the development of pockets of fat. An imbalance of the hormones estrogen and androgen may result in the formation of breast tissue, which she explains is called “true” gynecomastia. This is opposed to an individual having excess fat located in the chest region, which she says may be the result of genetics, weight gain, or both. A thorough examination by a qualified physician can determine which type of tissue a patient may have, she states, including whether he has a combination of the two.
When gynecomastia occurs in young teens, it frequently results from hormonal imbalance, Dr. Greenberg reveals, and boys going through puberty are subject to regular fluctuations in hormone levels. However, there are several other causal factors that can potentially lead to an imbalance, she notes, including tumors, Klinefelter syndrome (when a male has an additional X chromosome), certain medications, and brain issues affecting hormone regulation. For patients experiencing gynecomastia, she often recommends undergoing a physical examination, laboratory blood work, an ultrasound or mammogram, and/or other tests to help determine the root cause of the condition.
Both gynecomastia and excess fatty tissue can be treated, Dr. Greenberg explains, but they require slightly different procedures. Excess fat can be removed with liposuction; however, she emphasizes breast tissue cannot. True gynecomastia treatment involves removing the breast tissue through an incision made at the areola. This is coupled with liposuction as needed to contour the area. She encourages patients to reach their ideal body weight prior to considering male breast reduction surgery.
Ultimately, Dr. Greenberg recognizes regardless of origin, gynecomastia can be the cause of severe self-consciousness for patients experiencing the condition, especially young males. She also notes treatment options, in addition to providing a flatter, firmer appearance to the chest, may also help individuals regain a sense of confidence.
About Lauren Greenberg, MD
Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Greenberg attended Dartmouth College for her undergraduate degree and Northwestern University Medical School for her medical degree. She then completed residencies in general surgery and plastic surgery at Stanford University, followed by a fellowship in Breast and Cosmetic Surgery in Nashville. She is an active member of several prestigious medical organizations and the recipient of numerous accolades, including the Patient’s Choice Award five years in a row. Dr. Greenberg is available for interview upon request.
Lauren Greenberg, MD
750 Welch Rd., Ste. 117
Palo Alto, CA 94304