Effects of Gynecomastia on Mental & Emotional Health
Gynecomastia is a condition characterized by the enlargement of breast tissue in men. Experienced by males of all ages, the development of this concern has been linked to factors such as genetics, weight fluctuations, anabolic steroids, certain medications, and liver complications, though the exact cause is still undetermined. In fact, there are many cases in which the presence of gynecomastia is not related to any of the aforementioned factors, and its development remains a complete mystery.
Although gynecomastia itself does not present any medical risks (the glandular and/or fatty tissue responsible for enlarged breasts is benign), the condition can have a significantly negative impact on a male’s mental and emotional health, particularly during adolescence. One study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®—the official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)—found that even mildly overdeveloped breast tissue has several adverse psychological effects in young men: “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.”
The notion that gynecomastia is purely an aesthetic concern is an outdated way of thinking. Due to the damaging effect the condition can have on the mental and emotional health of an individual, gynecomastia treatment is something worth exploring for males of all ages who are experiencing—and potentially suffering from—this issue.
At the Ohio State University Department of Plastic Surgery, our board-certified plastic surgeons are highly experienced in evaluating for gynecomastia and treating the condition in patients who qualify as good candidates. Following a thorough physical assessment and complete review of medical history, our doctors can determine if you (or your son) would benefit from gynecomastia treatment, and an individualized plan can be formulated based on your specific needs and desires.
For more information about gynecomastia and its treatment options, we encourage you to contact the OSU Department of Plastic Surgery to schedule a consultation with one of our plastic surgeons.