A frustration and embarrassment for many men, the development of excess breast tissue often leads them to limit activities exposing their upper torsos. Male breast reduction, also known as gynecomastia, surgically reduces this excess tissue. At our Waterloo plastic surgery practice near Kitchener, gynecomastia is growing in popularity with men from London, Ontario, and beyond who want to restore their confidence.
In this blog post, Dr. Robert Shenker explains the reason for the procedure’s growing popularity.
Why am I doing more gynecomastia operations now than ever before?
When I look back at my operating room statistics from the last 10 years, it’s striking to see the increase in the number of gynecomastia operations we do now compared to years past.
Years ago, we did one gynecomastia case every few months. Now it’s a rare week that goes by without at least one gynecomastia case getting done in our operating room.
You can see some of our gynecomastia results in the before-and-after photos below; before photos are on the left. You can also see more of our patients’ gynecomastia results in our photo gallery.
So what’s up with this new trend in Southwestern Ontario?
I think the answer is multi-faceted. There are societal factors, changes in causation, and technology changes that have made gynecomastia surgery one of the most common operations I do today.
Are men more open to plastic surgery now?
First of all, I think we now live in an age where aesthetic surgery is right in the middle of mainstream culture. We all talk about it. We recognize it’s part of how people take care of themselves and their physical and mental health. The days of planning an aesthetic operation in secret, telling no one, and then going away “on vacation” for recovery are long gone. People not only talk about aesthetic surgery openly, but they also blog about it, Snapchat it, Instagram it, and some even live stream it!
This shift in culture has had a positive impact on the men in our society. They feel more at ease discussing these issues openly and taking positive steps to improve their appearance and self-esteem. The unease, and dare I say, the shame associated with male breast surgery is rapidly evaporating, and men with gynecomastia are coming forward to ask for surgery. You can learn more about how the procedure creates a more masculine chest appearance in a related blog post.
What causes gynecomastia?
Secondly, some of the causes of gynecomastia are becoming more common among men these days. Most of us live an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, which predisposes us to put on a few extra pounds. Not all of that weight ends up around our waists. Some of those pounds end up in our breasts.
For those men who eschew the sedentary lifestyle and pursue serious fitness goals, sometimes steroids are used. These steroids can help men build muscle and bulk up, but they can also cause gynecomastia.
The use of marijuana has been associated with the development of gynecomastia. We live in a country where not only is marijuana use common among men of all ages, it is about to become legal across the country. While the causal link between marijuana and gynecomastia is somewhat tenuous, I expect to see an even bigger spike in gynecomastia in the next few years.
How has technology improved surgery?
Technological refinements have fundamentally changed the way this operation is done. Power-assisted liposuction techniques unavailable in previous years have made the operation shorter, safer, more predictable, and less painful than ever before. Gone are the days when a semi-circular incision around the nipple and areola are needed. Those incisions frequently left behind indentations, wide scars, and permanently numb nipples. A modern gynecomastia operation uses a 6-millimeter incision off to the side of the breast that heals imperceptibly.
In fact, current techniques are so much better that a fair number of gynecomastia cases I see these days are patients seeking corrections of problems created by older gynecomastia techniques.
Ultimately, Gynecomastia Is No Different Than Any Other Aesthetic Surgery
Otherwise healthy and vibrant men have a specific cosmetic and physical concern that is easily and safely correctable with a short operation that leaves essentially no scars.
This operation can have a huge impact on a man’s life. I know of what I speak. Not only am I doing these operations all the time, but about three years ago I had it done on myself. It was a great decision. If you don’t like the chest you see in the mirror, come talk to me about it.
Our plastic surgery practice in Waterloo serves the greater London, Ontario, area. You can request a consultation using our online form or call us at (519) 746-1132 to schedule an appointment.