For Michael, puberty became a nightmare when he began developing breasts. He has come to The Doctors to share his story and hopefully get help.
After his breasts began to get bigger, he was teased by other kids who called him a girl and told him he needed to wear a bra. The constant taunting and name-calling made Michael not want to go to school and feel isolated. “He changed from being the happiest kid in the world, to the loneliest kids in the world,” his mother Beth explains.
In an attempt to hide his condition, he began duct taping his chest and even used super glue to help keep the tape on his skin. This caused him blisters, scars, along with constant pain and trouble breathing. He even lost an extreme amount weight and became anorexic dropping to a scary 90 pounds in hopes of making his breasts smaller, but they never went away. This was followed by an extreme weight gain, in order to mask the pain he was going through. More than a decade later, Michael is still taping his breasts, using 5 pieces each day to bind himself. This is in addition to wearing up to 3 shirts and a sweatshirt.
“It’s so, so hard doing this every day. I can’t date. I can’t go in a swimming pool… I don’t feel like a man at all. I’ve basically given up,” he reveals.
Michael and his mom Beth join ER physician Dr. Travis Stork and plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon on the panel. He tells The Doctors, “I see you guys fix people and help people. I was hurting and helpless and I thought maybe there is some hope for me.”
We sent Michael to see endocrinologist Dr. Joseph Pinzone to help determine what might be causing his breast growth. He explains that 15 percent of boys are left with some degree of breast growth after puberty, but most cases are not noticeable. After a full battery of testing, Dr. Pinzone was not able to find an underlying hormonal cause for the growth. He determines that Michael has pubertal gynecomastia , which means his breast grew during puberty and never went away.
In hopes of changing his life once and for all, The Doctors arranged a surprise for Michael from plastic surgeon Dr. Dennis Hurwitz. Find out the details in the video below. We can’t wait to see the new Michael!