Surgeons report surge in 'man boob' operations

Plastic surgeons are reporting a record number of "man boob" reduction operations as the rise in demand outstrips that for all other procedures, including women's breast enlargement.

Figures published by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons showed operations to correct gynecomastia in men grew by 80%, while overall male cosmetic surgery grew by 21%.

The association's audit reveals 581 male breast reduction operations were performed by members in 2009, up from 323 in 2008. Five years ago, just 22 gynecomastia operations were performed on men. The association represents one in three plastic surgeons, so the UK total is likely to be more than 1,000 operations.

"Probably, heightened media attention … has allowed men to realise the positive outcomes that can be achieved," said Rajiv Grover, the consultant and association secretary who collated the audit.

"There's a lot of pressure on men now to shape up. Men's grooming is on the rise, and big fashion houses are using half-naked men, such a David Beckham, to advertise."

The procedure typically costs £2,000, takes 90 minutes, and removes as much as a litre of fat.

Overall, 36,482 procedures were done by association members for men and women in 2009, compared with 34,187 in 2008, a rise of 6.7%. Women accounted for 32,859, a rise of 5%. The audit reported 8,537 female breast augmentation operations.

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