"I am comfortable to be without my shirt, I can feel my muscle, I could not do that before."
Gynecomastia Surgery for Teens: One Boy’s story in his own words:
“I basically avoided going anywhere I would have to take off my shirt.”(RL, age 16)
Nothing is more traumatic for a young boy than looking in the mirror and seeing breasts. This is true at any age but particularly for teenage boys. Body dysmorphia (the feeling that something is wrong with your body) leads to overwhelming feelings of embarrassment. Boys will exclude themselves from social or athletic activities.
“I was so relieved to know the there was something that could be done about my nipples and that I could enjoy the freedom of hanging out with my friends at Carowinds, the pool or on the beach without any concerns of taking off my shirt..” (RL, age 16)
“I have been swimming since I was seven years old. I loved going to the lake and being out at the pool with friends. When I turned 12, I noticed that my nipples started to cone out (project). At the time I did not think much about it because I was a little chunky. When I turned 14, I lost weight, I went from 175 to 149lb, but noticed nothing had changed. I avoided going to the lake and pool parties. I even avoided joining the AAU basketball team for fear of having to take off my shirt in practice. I basically avoided going anywhere I would have to take off my shirt. I had to deal with this for the next two years.”
(when I turned 16), “I did some research on the internet and found out that there were other guys bothered by the same problem. I shared my concerns with my mom and showed her the information I had found. Fortunately, my mom listened and made a call to Dr. Ditesheim who assured me that he could fix my nipples and get me back in the pool.”
Internet searches or even pediatrician visits can be frustrating with misinformation. Parents are told to wait until their son gets older as “he will outgrow” the problem. After 16-17, this is not true. The breasts do not go away without help.