Navigation Links
Gynecomastia has psychological impact on adolescent boys, reports plastic and reconstructive surgery

Philadelphia, Pa. (April 2, 2013) Persistent breast enlargement (gynecomastia) negatively affects self-esteem and other areas of mental and emotional health in in adolescent males, reports the April issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Even mild gynecomastia can have adverse psychological effects in boys, according to the study by ASPS Member Surgeon Dr. Brian I. Labow and colleagues of Boston Children's Hospital. They believe their findings have important implications for early intervention and treatment, including male breast reduction in appropriate cases.

Study Shows Psychological Impact of Gynecomastia in Boys

The researchers administered a series of psychological tests to 47 healthy boys, average age 16.5 years, being evaluated for gynecomastia. The results were compared to those of a group of boys without breast enlargement.

Sixty-two percent of the gynecomastia patients had mild to moderate breast enlargement. As in previous studies, many of the boys with gynecomastia were overweight or obese: 64 percent, compared to 41 percent of the comparison group.

Patients with gynecomastia had lower scores on a standard quality of life assessment, indicating problems in several areas. Even after adjustment for weight and body mass index (BMI), the patients had lower scores for general health, social functioning and mental health. They also had lower scores for physical health, but this was attributed to being overweight.

Breast enlargement was also associated with lower scores for self-esteem. This, along with impairment in emotional areas of quality of life, appeared directly related to gynecomastia, rather than being overweight.

Boys with gynecomastia also scored higher on a test of attitudes toward food and eating. However, there was no difference in the rate of clinical eating disorders between groups.

Psychosocial Effects Independent of Gynecomastia Severity

The negative psychological effects of gynecomastia were similar for boys at different levels of severity. "Merely having gynecomastia was sufficient to cause significant deficits in general health, social functioning, mental health, self-esteem, and eating behaviors and attitudes compared with controls," Dr. Labow and coauthors write.

Gynecomastia is benign enlargement of male glandular tissue that is very common in adolescent boys. Although breast enlargement usually resolves over time, the problem persists in about eight percent of boys. Typically, boys with gynecomastia who are overweight or obese may simply be advised to lose weight.

However, losing weight won't correct the problem in patients who have true glandular enlargement, or in those with a large amount of excess skin in the breast area. As shown by the new study, patients with gynecomastia may experience emotional and self-esteem issues regardless of body weight or the severity of breast enlargement.

"As a result, early intervention and treatment for gynecomastia may be necessary to improve the negative physical and emotional symptoms," Dr. Labow and coauthors state. They note that male breast reduction, performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, is typically a simple and safe procedure.

It may seem self-evident that breast enlargement could have a psychological and emotional impact on teenage boys. However, adolescent gynecomastia has historically been regarded as a "cosmetic" procedure, not reimbursed by most insurance plans. The researchers note that only 35 percent of adolescent boys undergoing surgery for gynecomastia at their hospital were covered by insurance, compared to 85 percent of girls undergoing breast reduction.

"Our results indicate that careful and regular evaluation for gynecomastia may benefit adolescents regardless of BMI status or severity of gynecomastia," Dr. Labow and colleagues conclude. They call for further studies to evaluate the effects of male breast reduction, including its impact on physical and psychological symptoms.


Contact: Connie Hughes
Wolters Kluwer Health

Related medicine news :

1. Ohio Psychological Association Partners with Columbus State Community College for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week
2. NAS receives $3.5 million gift to establish Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
3. Psychological Woes Could Arise During Interplanetary Spaceflight: Study
4. Psychological common ground could ease tensions among those with different religious beliefs
5. APS announces inaugural issue of new journal, Clinical Psychological Science
6. Elevated levels of C-reactive protein appear associated with psychological distress, depression
7. Parents Key to Easing Psychological Impact of Conn. Shootings
8. A myth debunked: The full moon does not increase the incidence of psychological problems
9. Wayne State University researcher recognized by American Psychological Association
10. DeLuca of Kessler Foundation receives research award from American Psychological Association
11. Unmet needs: Adolescents and young adult cancer patients lack psychological, social support
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... (SOP) alumni Hannah Randall, PharmD ‘17, and Jennifer Huggins, PharmD ’17, along ... updates for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases during the 15th Annual ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... N.J. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... The ... Holly Day Market. Featuring a collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across ... personalized and quality-focused health and wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Talented host, actor Rob Lowe, is introducing a ... episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational program broadcasted on PBS ... in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve in ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... services for healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology and ... for Assisted Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( ), ... of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad provides ... while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water that ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... received FDA 510(k) clearance in May 2017 for its highly anticipated ... for endoscopy environments. An innovative secondary monitor solution, ZeroWire Mobile ... the improvement of patient outcomes, procedural efficiency, and the lowering of ... ... By ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product ... training aide "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will educate ... cardiac arrests with better efficiency compared to the dated ... real-time feedback on efficacy of the compression for a ... has a goal to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2, 2017  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... the third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, ... that day with the investment community and media to ... conference call will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time. ... live webcast of the conference call through a link ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: