More and more men are opting for male breast reduction, also known as gynecomastia surgery. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has reported the number of surgeries is up 5% from last year. And, for the first time, men makeup 40% of breast reduction patients nationwide. But why are more men choosing gynecomastia surgery?
Gynecomastia: Another Surgery Benefiting from Social Media Exposure?
The rates for plastic surgery and non-surgical aesthetic treatments like BOTOX are up across the board. Many attribute this to the daily exposure to pictures of perfected bodies being shared on social media. Maybe these “perfected” images are the work of filters or Photoshop, but clearly many Americans are opting to make a change in their appearance through aesthetic treatments and procedures. This has given rise to trendy marketing gimmicks like the FaceTime FaceLift and the Engagement Hand Lift.
Men are no exception to jumping on a trend: the rates for gynecomastia are up a whopping 173% since the 90s. Still there is a wide gap between the number of female cosmetic surgery patients and their male counterparts. The 2014 report from ASPS stated that a woman was the patient in 92% of all cosmetic surgeries performed.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Gynecomastia Surgery?
While any man with excess breast tissue may consider himself a candidate for gynecomastia surgery, there are two distinct groups that have driven the demand for the procedure: men with hormonal imbalances and body builders.
Gynecomastia for the physical correction of hormonal imbalances
Many men suffer from hormonal changes and imbalances. Some because of their genetic makeup, others because of medication. In a tragic irony, some men have traded one body image problem for another: the hair loss drug Propecia may cause gynecomastia. There are other drugs that cause changes in testosterone levels, which in turn, has an effect on the growth of breast tissue. The simplest solution is the excision of the breast tissue, gynecomastia surgery. Because hormonal changes are often associated with weight changes, the breasts may have also become fattier and can require additional liposuction for contouring.
Body Builders Looking for that Finishing Touch
Another group the procedure is popular with are the body builders and fitness fanatics. Men often mistake the signs of mild gynecomastia as simply being out of shape. After rigorous workout regimens, the fatty or puffy breast still persists because it’s a glandular issue. Through message boards and forums, body builders have discovered gynecomastia surgery and its benefits. The removal of the breast tissue allows for flatter pecs and a chest that better shows the results of their hard work. CrossFit enthusiasts are similarly becoming hip to the practice – hours of hard training for a hard body with puffy breasts can be disheartening.
Dr. Gerstle at Lexington Plastic Surgery performs male breast reduction and is available for consultation if you feel self-conscious about your chest. Call today or request a consultation today to make a change in how you feel.