Male breast reduction operations across the UK have increased by more than 1,000 percent in five years. The figures were revealed by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) at its conference in Cardiff. In 2003, it dealt with 22 such operations but there were 323 last year – including one teenage boy.
The increased number of gynecomastia operations – often referred to as “man boob” reductions, or a “moob job” – has been fuelled by middle-aged and elderly men wanting to bare their chests on holiday. There was a 44% rise in “moob jobs” between 2007 and 2008 and it pushed out the facelift to become the fifth most popular plastic surgery for men in Britain after nose operations, eyelifts, ear corrections and liposuction. More than 1,000 men in the UK have paid £2,000 for the operation in the last year. Plastic surgeon Fazel Fatah said: “Reasons for the upsurge include men being more open now about their physique than years ago and they can get more and more information about it from internet sites which encourage them to have the op.”
Douglas McGeorge, a past president of BAAPS, said the growing trend for “man boob” reductions were mostly middle-aged and elderly men, but that teenage boys were also having the operation. “I get people coming to me in their 50s and 60s. Men who have never taken their T-shirts off in public before,” he said. “We are seeing men of all ages coming in to have their breasts made smaller. They are losing their inhibitions about the operation and deciding to undergo an operation which previously was a women’s operation.”
Mr McGeorge, who is based in Chester, said one recent patient was “typical” of the men who are queuing up for breast reduction. He said: “It was a grandfather who had never taken off his T-shirt in his life because he was so embarrassed about the size of his breasts. He had never been able to strip to the waist on the beach in front of his own children – but was determined not to be in the same position with his grandchildren.”