Many boys have some breast growth during puberty but, in those with KS, it often doesn’t go away. This occurs in around 1 in 4 adolescents. A very recent research study has indicated that once gynaecomastia has been identified, the correct early use of testosterone will ensure that it subsides.
Some young people may find this breast formation upsetting. Others may not actually dislike the breast tissue themselves but may be upset because they are bullied or because their parents are negative about it. It is important to ensure there is no outside pressure on the young person to have hormonal or surgical intervention.
Although there is an increased risk of breast cancer, it appears to be about 70% lower than for females. XY/XXY mosaics may have a slightly higher risk than non-mosaics.
It is recommended that all KS adults should self-examine regularly.
Where there is excessive breast tissue which is causing distress it should be funded by the NHS. However this will depends on individual consultants, the area of the country and the individual’s overall health.
A plastic surgeon with previous experience should always be used rather than a general surgeon.
In some situations a small incision can be made just beneath the breast and the excess tissue removed by liposuction. This can be carried out as a day procedure. However this may not always be suitable.
If liposuction is not possible, then a small incision is made just below the nipple and the excess tissue is removed. This will leave a small scar which should be unobtrusive.
As long as the surgeon is careful to remove all breast tissue, there should not be any re-growth of breast tissue at a later stage. However, it is important that any testosterone treatment is then carefully monitored, such that excess levels are not again produced and transformed to oestrogen.