More males seeking removal of 'manboobs'

Last updated 09:25 16/02/2013

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Boys as young as 8 are seeing plastic surgeons about breast reduction surgery.

The surgery is becoming more common as acceptance and awareness increases, particularly among middle-aged men who need to look good in the competitive corporate job market, Wellington surgeon John Masters says.

"I've seen boys as young as 8 and men as old as 83, and the vast majority of people fall into one or two categories."

He said 75 per cent of boys would develop enlarged breasts during puberty because of their hormones, and in most cases they grew out of it.

But for the small amount who did not, they could be left with A to C cup breasts, causing them low self-esteem and body image problems.

The other group consisted of men in their 30s and 40s who are suffering from middle-aged spread because of a more sedentary lifestyle.

His clinic, Plastic Surgical Masters, sees about one new male patient a fortnight wanting a breast reduction.

"The group I'm seeing more of is the guys living sedentary lifestyles, [who are] in middle- management, they have got a reasonable income, jobs are competitive - they want to look their best, they don't want to be perceived as a couch potato."

Operations - called gynaecomastia surgery - involve the removal of fatty and glandular tissue. They can either be done under local or general anaesthetic, and cost $4000 for a straightforward procedure to more than $15,000 for complicated cases.

Dr Masters also said he saw men who had enlarged breasts due to recreational drug use. Fairfax NZ

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