Page last updated at 02:03 GMT, Monday, 1 February 2010

Male breast op numbers 'growing fastest'

Man with overdeveloped breast area
Surgery to correct 'man-boobs' is increasingly popular

Breast reduction for men is the fastest-growing part of the cosmetic surgery industry for the second year running, plastic surgeons have said.

The number of such operations rose from 323 in 2008 to 581 last year - an 80% increase - the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons said.

Pressure created by men's magazines was partly to blame, one surgeon said.

Cosmetic surgery appears to be defying the recession, with an overall increase in the number of procedures.

Nine out of 10 cosmetic procedures carried out by members of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps) in 2009 were performed on women, with breast enlargement the most popular operation.

The public's interest in aesthetic surgery appears to remain strong and indeed growing quite considerably among UK males despite the the economic downturn
Nigel Mercer, Baaps

But the most dramatic rises were seen in the world of male surgery - an overall increase of more than a fifth over the year.

Surgeons carried out 581 breast reductions, compared to 323 the previous year.

The top two operations for men were rhinoplasty - or "nose-job", and blepharoplasty - surgery on the skin around the eyes.

Consultant plastic surgeon Rajiv Grover said that while the problem of so-called "man-boobs" - or "gynaecomastia" in official language - was not a new one, it had been thrust into prominence by media coverage.

He said: "Many men are feeling the pressure from men's magazines that weren't even being published five or six years ago.

"In addition, they are just realising that they can get something done about it."

Lifestyle not scalpel

However, he said that in many cases, surgery could be avoided by simple changes to lifestyle.

"Quite a few cases are caused by obesity, and we often say to men to look at their lifestyles before thinking about the scalpel."

A total of more than 36,000 surgical procedures were carried out by Baaps members, a 6.7% increase over last year. Women had 5.4% more procedures than in 2008.

Baaps president Nigel Mercer said: "The public's interest in aesthetic surgery appears to remain strong and indeed growing quite considerably among UK males despite the economic downturn."



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