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Page last updated at 08:47 GMT, Monday, 1 December 2008
'Man boob' ops on the increase

By Adina Campbell
Newsbeat reporter

Surgeons performing operation
Some men see surgery as the only option to get rid of man boobs
One of the UK's top doctors says he's seen a big rise in the number of men having breast reduction surgery.

Gynaecomastia, commonly known as man boobs or 'moobs', is a medical condition that causes tissue in the chest area to develop like a female breast.

There's usually no clear cause but doctors say sometimes men get it because of hormonal problems in the body - having more of the female hormone oestrogen than normal.

Men who are very overweight and use drugs like cannabis are also more likely to suffer from it.

One sufferer told Newsbeat: "Whenever I took my T-shirt off I had a proper set of boobs. They were massive, they were noticeable from every angle. I definitely would have passed for a woman.

'Hide my chest'

"I wouldn't have gone swimming - not a chance. Going on a foreign holiday, I wouldn't have taken my top off until I was on my own. I was very self-conscious, very embarrassed.

"It was always on my mind. I would always have my arms folded or a big jumper on, something just to hide my chest."

Even though losing weight can help the problem, some men find that surgery is the only method to get rid of the problem permanently.
It also affects their confidence and their self esteem and they tend to adjust their social lives and fashion accordingly
Consultant Plastic Surgeon Raj Ragoowansi

Recent figures from The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons show that last year the number of men having the operations went up by more than a quarter compared to 2006.

Raj Ragoowansi is a consultant plastic surgeon at St Bartholomew's Hospital in east London.

He says he's seen a big increase in the number of men with the condition asking for surgery in the last three months.

Common condition

He added: "This becomes a particular embarrassment for that person and they either become reclusive or shy.

"It also affects their confidence and their self esteem and they tend to adjust their social lives and fashion accordingly.

"This is a problem which should be taken very seriously."

But some doctors say having the surgery isn't necessary because it's a common condition - it's thought 50% of men get it.

Overall, male cosmetic surgery is increasing. Last year it went up by 17.5% on the previous year.

The five most popular types of surgery for men are nose jobs, liposuction, eyelid operations, ear corrections, face and neck lifts.

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