Male breast reduction surgery is a touchy subject. But, in the UK, men are tackling their ‘moobs’ head on, making gynecomastia surgery more popular than ever.
For the second year in a row, male breast reduction surgery is the fastest growing plastic surgery procedure in England, the BBC News reports. According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, 581 Brits suited up for slimmer chests in 2009, an 80 percent increase the year before. Meanwhile, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimates 18,000 men did the same in the U.S. in 2008, the last year for which data is available.
Some British surgeons speculate that men’s magazines flaunting male models with large pecs and six pack abs have inspired at least some individuals to undergo the procedure.
“Many men are feeling the pressure from men’s magazines that weren’t even being published five or six years ago,” London plastic surgeon Dr. Rajiv Grover told the BBC. “In addition, they are just realizing that they can get something done about it.”
The procedure itself generally utilizes liposuction technology, with a cut under the breast crease where fat is then suctioned out. In most cases the procedure only takes an hour with dissolvable stitches under general anesthesia. Patients may have to wear a compression vest to help shrink the skin for three weeks afterwards.
“Man boobs”, or “moobs” as they have recently been coined, are the result of gynecomastia, a condition marked by excess breast tissue in men. Causes range from obesity and weight gain to steroid and marijuana drug use, prescription drugs, and in rare cases, male breast cancer.
In many cases, there is nothing a man can do to reduce the size of his breasts on his own, because the condition is hereditary. “But if you’re a pot smoker and you are overweight, just changing your lifestyle may mean you wouldn’t need to have a breast reduction,” Dr. Sharon Rosenbaum-Smith, breast surgeon at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, told the NY Daily News.