What is gynecomastia? Simply put, it’s the medical term for abnormally large male breasts. While sizable breasts in women is generally seen as a good thing, men are obviously not as keen on having large breasts.
One of the biggest trends in cosmetic surgery is for gynecomastia surgery, where by using a combination of liposuction, removal of fat tissue by incision and skin reduction, the male breast is shrunk to a more normal size.
Demand for the procedure is growing. Figures from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons showed that gynecomastia surgery was the 4th most popular cosmetic surgery procedure amongst men in 2015.
Gynecomastia is particularly common in teenage boys. The same statistics showed that it is the most common cosmetic surgery procedure amongst American teenagers.
Why is there growing demand for gynecomastia surgery?
Part of it can be attributed to the fact that people are becoming increasingly overweight. Obesity is the most common cause of large male breasts. Terms like ‘man boobs’ or ‘moobs’ have become common place, reflecting the increase of gynecomastia.
Another reason for the increase in demand for surgery is the growing pressure for men to look good. Once it was women who were under pressure to look attractive. Increasingly, women expect their men to look good as well. This is often cited as the reason why more men are turning to cosmetic surgery in general. There are different types of gynecomastia:
Fatty gynecomastia - caused by being overweight
Glandular - a growth in the fiber in the breast
Mixed - a combination of fatty and glandular
Massive weight loss - men can have saggy breasts after losing weight.
The surgery and treatment varies depending on the type of gynecomastia. Liposuction is commonly used, but with the glandular type of gynecomastia, an incision is usually required to directly remove the fatty tissue.
The condition of the skin is also a major factor, with older patients or those with saggy skin requiring further work to tighten the skin.
There is one other group that are turning to gynecomastia, gender reassignment patients (sex change) going from female to male are also have gynecomastia surgery to reduce the size of their breasts.
Looking at the trends, gynecomastia surgery is likely to become more and more common. As long as men getting fatter, and also taking more pride in their appearance, we can expect to see male breast reduction surgery on the increase.