Feature: More men going under the knife for moobs and beer bellies, experts say

 13 January 2012

Cosmetic surgery procedures are usually associated with women, with the most common procedures such as breast augmentation and eyelid surgery often appearing at the top of the list.

However, a new study has suggested that an increasing number of men are also thinking about improving their body and their confidence.

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of the West of England's Centre for Appearance Research in Bristol, four out of five men talk to their family or friends about their body hang-ups on a regular basis.

The most common worries include a beer belly, lack of muscle tone and 'moobs', which are more generally referred to as male breasts.

Furthermore, one in five men admitted that they felt fat every single day.

Dr Phillippa Diedrichs of the university's research team said: "Body talk is saying things which reinforce the traditional standard of male attractiveness, which is having a tall, lean, muscular body with clear skin and a full head of hair, and is for most people unattainable."

She added that the research revealed surprising figures and claimed that a new approach that celebrates diversity of appearance could be worth considering.

"This research really demonstrates that body image is an issue for everyone, although in men, especially middle-aged men, it has been woefully under-reported, but has a negative impact on social relationships and on attitudes to diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle," she mentioned.

In the wake of the study commissioned by Central YMCA, Rosi Prescott, chief executive of the organisation, commented that the fact that one in three men would sacrifice a year of their life to achieve their ideal weight suggests they are placing too much importance on the way they look.

The number of men opting to go under the knife has risen by more than 88 per cent since 1997, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has found.

Figures showed that men made up some 750,000 cosmetic procedures in comparison to 8.6 million for women in the US last year, while experts in the UK are predicting a steady rise in the number of males being more open about their desire for surgery in the coming months.

Dr Henry Mentz, a cosmetic surgeon in Houston who developed a liposuction technique that can sculpt an illusion of muscle, told news provider chron.com that there has been an influx of men who are overweight or over 40 wanting to get their man boobs removed.

"We also do that on the chest now, too. A lot of guys in their 40s start to get kind of 'breasty'," he said

Dr Mentz explained that he has seen many men so desperate for surgical relief from their problem that some even used duct tape to flatten the gynecomastia down.

"As far as guys go, those are probably the most emotionally driven surgeries I do," the expert added.

The University of the West of England's study also indicated that modern media and images of models and celebrities such as David Beckham are continually driving men to take more notice of their appearances.

At this time last year, the Guardian reported a similar surge in the number of men choosing cosmetic procedures such as breast reduction.

Males accounted for around ten per cent of all cosmetic procedures in the UK in 2010 and within this number, man boob operations rose by a record 28 per cent from 581 to 741.

"The growth rates for surgical facelifting, breast augmentation and rhinoplasty show double-digit percentage rises, because in times of financial hardship patients are looking for the real deal, for treatments which deliver a reliable, long-lasting result and have a proven safety record," Rajiv Grover, consultant plastic surgeon and British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons president elect, concluded.

Posted by Edward Bartel

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

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