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Does Gynecomastia Affect Mental Health?

April 17, 2023

Gynecomastia, which causes enlarged breasts in boys and men, can take a substantial mental and emotional toll on those living with it. Even mild gynecomastia can have negative effects. 

What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is a condition that causes benign enlargement of male glandular tissue in the breasts. This can result in breasts that are larger than desired and may result in self-esteem issues. Oftentimes, boys or teens with teenage gynecomastia may be told to lose weight. However, weight loss alone will not correct true gynecomastia. 

The cause of enlarged male breasts is excess glandular breast tissue, which can only be removed through male breast reduction surgery, also called gynecomastia surgery.

How Gynecomastia Affects Mental Health

The official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, reported a study that explored the psychological impact of gynecomastia on boys. The study involved a series of psychological tests on 47 healthy boys being evaluated for gynecomastia. Results were compared to a group of boys without breast enlargement.

The study found that patients with gynecomastia had a lower score on the standard quality of life assessment, including general health, social functioning, and mental health. Breast enlargement was also linked to a lower score for self-esteem.

Overall, simply having gynecomastia, regardless of severity, was enough to cause significant deficits in general social functioning, health, mental health, and self-esteem behaviors and attitudes. These results show that gynecomastia impacts the lives of boys living it.

How to Improve Mental Health Associated with Gynecomastia

So, what can be done to help improve the mental health of boys and teens living with gynecomastia? For some, a healthier lifestyle that involves keeping up with exercise and a healthy diet can be impactful, and for others, speaking with a loved one or a mental health counselor may be helpful. When the above is insufficient, seeking surgical treatment is typically the next option. 

Effective treatment for gynecomastia may involve male breast reduction surgery, which allows a surgeon to remove excess breast tissue and fat from the breasts to create a more masculine-looking chest. 

If your teen or significant other is interested in gynecomastia surgery, seeking out a skilled plastic surgeon is key for optimal results. Be sure to do your research and visit a number of doctors before choosing one for surgery. In Los Angeles, Dr. Cruise has become a top gynecomastia doctor and is passionate about patient education and communication. 

Schedule a Consultation

If someone close to you is suffering from negative psychological symptoms caused by gynecomastia, gynecomastia surgery may be an effective solution. Please contact Dr. Cruise today to schedule a consultation appointment to discuss possible surgical options. With over 15 years of experience, Dr. Cruise is a board-certified plastic surgeon who is passionate about using his skills to better people’s lives.

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