Increase in male breast reduction surgery

  • 31 January 2011
  • From the section Health
Man with man boobs
Image caption Awareness of "man boobs" has increased according to BAAPS

The numbers of men having breast reduction surgery is increasing, according to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).

The association said male breast reduction operations increased by 28% last year.

The operation is now the second most popular cosmetic operation for men - the most popular remains nose alterations.

BAAPS represents one third of the UK cosmetic surgery industry.

There were 741 operations to reduce male breasts last year by BAAPS members, up from 581 procedures in the previous year.

Cosmetic surgical procedures went up by 5% overall.

Rajiv Grover, consultant plastic surgeon and president elect at BAAPS, said that the increase in surgery was likely to be due to an increased awareness - and dislike - of 'man boobs'.

He said that around 30% of men who enquire about surgery are sent away to improve their diet and exercise more - these were men who were overweight overall, and would benefit from general weight loss.

Mr Grover said men who had surgery often had "stubborn areas" of fat deposits that were difficult to get rid of and "beyond exercise."

And he said men were now very aware of the way their torsos looked.

"Images in the media - coverage of high profile men like Simon Cowell and Jack Nicholson - make men think about this more.

"Just recently a vest was launched for men aimed at enhancing the way their chests look."

Peter Baker, from the Men's Health Forum, said men's weight problems would not be addressed by surgery.

"This is not a solution - these men need to change their diet and lifestyle"

"You see blokes who don't look real," he added.

"Men are beginning to be influenced by the same cultural pressures and stereotypes as women."

However, he said the real problem for many men was their overall weight.

"Men are generally getting bigger and increasingly becoming overweight and obese.

"The vast majority of them are not as bothered about it as they should be, so the real health challenge for men is to encourage them to think about their weight and to do something about it."

Most cosmetic surgery is carried out privately. The NHS will only consider funding it if there is an overriding physical or psychological reasons for considering cosmetic surgery.

The UK market for cosmetic surgery has been estimated as worth £2.3bn by market research company Mintel.

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