Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
The pair of double-Ds jutting out in front of me look like they would belong on Pam Anderson.
Instead they’re attached to a 14-year-old boy.
I whip out a black marker and start drawing on Phil, my first surgery patient of the day. Phil has severe gynecomastia, or enlarged male breasts.
Phil was brought to me by his grandmother, who raised him since he was ten. Apparently he was a well-behaved kid and good student until puberty hit. Like most maturing boys his voice deepened and his height increased. Unlike most other boys, however, he began to sprout breasts.
His breasts grew and grew until they drooped down to the middle of his abdomen.
Phil’s grandmother noticed him becoming more and more withdrawn. His friends abandoned him. Kids taunted him. His grades suffered. He even failed physical education after refusing to take his shirt off. Phil’s grandmother decided to take control of the situation and made an appointment for Phil to see me.
At the consultation, Phil was mostly quiet. He let his grandmother do the talking. Then, at the end of the appointment his sad eyes stared into mine. With a quivering voice he asked, “Can you help me?”
“Yes,” I replied, with as much confidence as I could muster.
Three weeks later, here we are.
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