The 'man-boob', the new term coined by the popular press, and often shortened to simply the 'moob', highlights the shame of every middle-aged man caught in a photograph with his t-shirt off on holiday with less than defined pectoral muscles.
This phenomenon, which started with paparazzi shots of celebrities such as Tony Blair and Simon Cowell being paraded in the likes of Heat magazine and the Daily Mail as less than 'buff' examples of the male species is now driving many men, both those with a recognised medical condition, and those with excess fat in the chest area due to age and weight gain to their nearest clinic in search of a remedy.
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastics Surgeons (BAAPS) reported at the start of February 2010 that surgical procedures for the removal of male breasts or cases of gynaecomastia (actual breast tissue in the male), as it is medically known had shot up by 80% in 2009, based on year on year audits of its members, which showed a rise from 323 procedures performed in 2008 to 581 in 2009. Genuine gynaecomastia
can be debilitating for suffers, with the embarrassment that they feel causing difficulties in their social lives and abilities to form relationships through fear of scrutiny and mocking due to the appearance of the breast area, which is most cases is more pronounced than simply those with excess fat in the chest.
A quick search on the Internet reveals many websites proclaiming to be able to show you how to get rid of your 'man boobs'. But delve a little deeper and you find that many of them are simply selling so called 'natural' supplements, along the lines of sites touting diet pills and other so called miracle cures in pill-form, which would have little effect on fat and excess breast tissue in the male chest.
In most cases, the recent up take in interest for such remedial procedures has come from those without a recognised medical need, i.e. those simply carrying a little extra 'flab' or fatty tissue and not the characteristic breast tissue as would be normally found in females only.
In such cases, surgical operations to remove tissue have tended to be unnecessary and fat removal options have seen the most significant rises, especially in light of advancements in the technologies of liposuction
and laser lipolysis
, most notably with VASER® Liposelection
, which have lead to quicker, less invasive procedures which can be performed in minor surgical rooms within private clinics as opposed to larger surgical operating theatres for male breast reduction surgery.
A survey of almost 3,300 men for Men's Health Week in 2008 revealed that 10% of respondents wanted to get in shape before their holiday so that they could reveal their bodies on the beach without the fear of the 'man boob'.
Women have been conditioned for years to be paranoid about the appearance of cellulite, so now it would appear than men have been given their own hang-up to worry about!