Plastic surgery, particularly in the chest and breast region, is generally considered something only women undertake. However, an increasing number of men are choosing plastic surgery to reduce the size of their chest area in a procedure called Male Breast Reduction. After all, it is not considered attractive in our culture for men to have breasts, making it an embarrassing and limiting condition.

As of 2010, 13% of people getting plastic surgery were male. The number continues to grow, too, though this is for all types of surgery and not just breast reduction. So women are still definitely the leaders in the pack, but men in general are becoming more aware and more willing to undergo elective surgery to improve their appearance.

The medical term for enlarged male breasts is gynecomastia. In many cases, a hormonal condition is at fault for the increased breast growth, but hereditary conditions and some medications can be factors, too. In the United States, around 20,000 gynecomastia related surgeries are performed every year. These numbers indicate it is the fifth most popular plastic surgery procedure that men choose.

Many men feel changes in their breast tissue during puberty, which is perfectly normal. Up to a quarter of young men in puberty can be expected to feel or see a change in their breast tissue just as they expect to see changes in their muscles and body in general. Some studies even suggest that over half of all boys will experience enlarged or swollen breast tissue during puberty.

However, about 5% of men will find that their breast tissue engorges with hormones during puberty and stays that way once they have reached adulthood. This can happen on one side of the chest or both. When this is the case, breast reduction surgery can help a man feel more comfortable and confident in his body and appearance.

Other reasons a man might choose to get male breast reduction plastic surgery include physical complaints such as back pain from the extra weight. This is a condition not uncommon in women with large breasts, but the same principle can apply to men as well.

The surgery itself is simple as far as plastic surgery procedures go. Your surgeon will cut an incision just below your areola, the dark area that surrounds the nipple. There is very little risk of scarring since the surgical incision only needs to be a little over an inch long. The risks for male breast reduction surgery are minimal and the results long lasting. For many men, this makes it worth it to no longer have embarrassing, awkward or painful breast tissue.

There is no shame in what your body has done naturally during those hormonal changes we all undergo. However, there is also no shame in scheduling a consultation to discuss surgery to rid yourself of these uncomfortable features if you so choose. Male breast reduction is both common and life-changing for men; plastic surgery can improve quality of life.

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