What Is Involved In Getting My Son’s Breasts Reduced?

Q: Dr. Eppley, my son who is in college has been very sensitive since he was in junior high to take his shirt off. Whether it is by the pool or playing sports, he has never wanted to take his shirt off. I actually have never seen his chest since he was a little boy but I think he is embarrassed by his man boobs. He is not really overweight but for some reason he has had some small breasts develop. I really want to help him and I know it involves surgery but I don’t know how big of a deal it would be for him to go through.  

A: Gynecomastia is a common problem in both young and older men alike. A surprising number of young men have it and I suspect it parallels the increase in obesity in society although it occurs in many lean men as well. It can be caused by a variety of factors although in most young men the cause is never known.

Male breast reduction is fairly simple and does not require much downtime. How it is treated depends on how much and what type of breast tissue that exists. When the breast tissue is soft and is mainly fat, liposuction may be all that is needed. When there is a firm lump or glandular tissue under the nipple and around it, then an open excision is needed through an incision on the underside of the nipple. It is an outpatient procedure that only has a few weeks of recovery until one can return to full activities.

Of equal interest is that it can produce a thrilling result particularly in younger men and teenagers. The sign of success is when they confidently wear fitted shorts and are no longer embarrassed to go shirtless.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana