Gynecomastia is the condition in which men have oversized breasts. This condition can present itself in men of all ages, including adolescents. While breast reduction surgery is a viable option that can successfully treat the issue, doctors rarely recommend it for young men under the age of 18. There are other steps parents can take to help their sons overcome the issue.

Most surgeons discourage breast reduction surgery for boys under the age of 18 because of the hormonal changes that happen throughout the teenage years. During these peak puberty years, it’s not uncommon for boys to struggle with a variety of body issues that they’ll outgrow as they approach adulthood. Many young men who suffer from gynecomastia will see the condition disappear before their 18th birthday, so surgery before that age would be unnecessary.

Another reason for this benchmark age is that boys who have breast reduction surgery before they turn 18 are much more likely to require a 2nd surgery later in life, after their bodies have further developed.

Parents who want to help their sons overcome adolescent gynecomastia have a few other options to pursue before considering surgery. First, they should evaluate their son’s weight and level of physical fitness. Being overweight not only negatively impacts health in numerous ways, but it can also be the culprit behind oversized male breasts. By teaching their sons to stay active and eat a healthy diet, parents may uncover a natural, non-invasive solution to the problem. Parents can also see a medical professional to evaluate their sons’ hormone levels and ensure there are no chemical imbalances causing the problem.

As adults, men who struggle with oversized breasts will most commonly need to undergo surgery to treat the problem. Teenage boys, on the other hand, will often overcome the issue naturally as their bodies grow and develop. If parents are concerned about their sons’ physical or mental well being, they should speak with a medical professional and discuss the options available for their child’s age range.