Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Sunday Times - Britain

January 28, 2007

Men with ‘moobs’ swell queues for breast surgery

Sarah-Kate Templeton, Health Correspondent

MEN are turning to cosmetic surgery to tackle the embarrassment of “man breasts”, fuelling a near doubling in the number of people sculpting their bodies through liposuction.

Surgeons have reported a surge in the number of men requesting breast-reduction operations for ‘moobs’. According to one theory, the condition, called gynaecomastia, may be caused by an excess of female hormones in tap water.

The boom in demand for liposuction is revealed in an audit by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS). Figures to be published this week show 4,000 operations were carried out last year, compared with 2,100 in 2005.

The procedure, which involves vacuuming fat from areas including the thighs and “love handles”, has jumped from the eighth to the third most popular operation.

Adam Searle, consultant plastic surgeon and former president of BAAPS, said: “Men come along and say, ‘I am in the gym all the time. I have these lovely pecs but the fat on the side of the flank will not budge. Some feel the male breast can respond well to liposuction.”

Recent holiday photographs of Tony Blair and David Cameron indicate they are developing man breasts.

Searle said liposuction was becoming more refined and was being applied in new ways. However, he warned that it is not an alternative to losing weight.

He added: “There are lots of misconceptions about liposuction. Every week, someone comes into a clinic weighing 25 stone and wanting liposuction. This technique is not appropriate for the obese.

“It should be reserved for very specific areas of fat in an otherwise fit person. The ideal candidate would be a woman who says, ‘I go to the gym, I have lost weight but this area on the side of my thigh refuses to go’. Or the man who has been training hard but cannot get rid of the extra fat on his breasts.”

Overall, leading plastic surgeons carried out 31% more cosmetic surgery operations last year than in 2005. Demand also increased for brow lifts, which saw a 50% rise, eyelid surgery, up 48%, tummy tucks, up 47% and face and neck lifts, up 44%.

The most popular procedure continues to be breast enlargement. The increasing demand for breast implants was reflected last week by the launch of a new company,, specialising in the procedure. The majority of cosmetic surgery, 92%, continues to be carried out on women.

“People no longer consider plastic surgery to be wacky or just for the rich,” said Searle. “Plastic surgery is now considered to be permissible in our culture.”

Rajiv Grover, consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS council member responsible for the UK national audit of cosmetic surgery, added, “Judging by the dramatic rise in certain procedures, it is clear we are becoming a more body-image conscious society.”
Hey, I'm all for a reduction in the moob population, but comeon... blaming tap water? Get off your butts and get yourself to a gym, not a plastic surgeon. A Wii is not a workout!

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