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Gynecomastia has psychological impact on adolescent boys, reports plastic and reconstructive surgery
Date:4/2/2013

elated 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
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Contact: Connie Hughes
connie.hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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