New figures published by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) indicate a record number of “man boob” reduction operations, as the surge in demand outstrips that for all other cosmetic procedures, including women’s breast enlargement. In the last few years, overall male cosmetic procedures have increased by 21 percent, corrective surgery for breast reduction in men rose by 80 percent.
Possible Causes of the Rise in Breast Reduction for Men
Gynecomastia is the scientific name for ‘man boobs’, a condition that affects thousands of men in the UK today. While surgeons have encountered the condition in many cases, it is rarely talked about. But increased media attention has enabled men to realize the positive results that can be achieved from breast reduction surgeries, increasing patient and consumer confidence.
Gynecomastia is caused by several medical conditions that cause a disruption of hormone levels – testosterone and estradiol, as well as certain medications, like anti-depressants, some cancer drugs, and heart and liver pills. But health experts argue that obesity and anabolic steroid use are the major causes for increasing cases of male mastectomy. Most men undergoing the procedure are between the ages of 25 and 34, followed by those aged 15 to 24.
Embarrassment and Discomfort
The increasing awareness among men for their grooming needs, combined with common symptoms of breasts, such as tenderness around the nipples, discomfort, and embarrassment, has also led to the increase in ‘man boob’ procedures. There has also been a lot of pressure on men, especially between the ages of 15 and 35, to shape up. They want to have less prominence in their breast area as it affects their usual activities.
For instance, a teenager with large breasts is shy about taking off his shirt in the swimming pool or at the beach; a problem that also discourages him from taking up sports because he feels uncomfortable when undressing with team members in the locker room. Such patients are reluctant to report the problem to their parents, causing them to prolong their dilemma of inactivity in sports while inviting their peers to tease them.
All human beings have breast tissue, though some men’s breast tissue is more responsive to surges in estrogen hormone during puberty; hence, the high number of teenagers seeking male mastectomy procedures. Generally, ‘man boobs’ is a very common issue that many men experience, and some choose to fight it with dieting and exercise, while others look for a faster way out through surgery to remove the breast tissue.