Prepubertal unilateral gynecomastia: a report of two cases

Hoevenaren, Inge; Schott, Dina; Otten, Barto; Kroese-Deutman, Henriette
October 2011
European Journal of Plastic Surgery;Oct2011, Vol. 34 Issue 5, p395
Academic Journal
Background: Gynecomastia is defined as the presence of excessive breast tissue in males, which can appear unilateral or bilateral. Bilateral gynecomastia is frequently found in the neonatal period, early in puberty, and with increasing age. Prepubertal unilateral gynecomastia in the absence of endocrine abnormalities is extremely rare, with only a few cases in literature. Methods: We report the cases of two otherwise healthy boys of 8 and 11 years old with unilateral breast masses. No abnormalities were found on ultrasonography and all endocrine parameters were within normal limits. Treatment consisted of peripheral liposuction followed by subcutaneous partial resection of the gland, conducted through an infra-areolar incision. Results: Microscopy of the subcutaneous mastectomy specimen revealed gynecomastia without signs of malignancy. Postoperative course of both patients was uncomplicated, with no signs of recurrence of breast tissue. Conclusions: Atypical presentations of gynecomastia are often not recognized, with little attention to breast development in prepubertal non-obese children. Since prepubertal gynecomastia could be a sign of possible underlying diseases, a thorough examination and further research is recommended. If there is no causal treatment, surgical resection is the therapy of first choice. Peripheral liposuction and surgical resection of the gland tissue are the mainstay of treatment. In summary, we describe two cases of prepubertal unilateral gynecomastia with a normal endocrine workup. Further research is needed to establish the pathophysiologic mechanisms of prepubertal gynecomastia, since underlying etiology in most cases remains unclear.


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