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Women aren't the only ones unhappy with too-large breasts. For the second year in a row, male breast reduction surgery was the fastest growing segment of the cosmetic surgery industry in England, according to the BBC News. And while such a jump in cases hasn't been seen in the U.S., it's definitely a popular operation here, too, cosmetic surgeons say.

“We've seen an increase,” says cosmetic surgeon Dr. Robert Cattani, board member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. “In the last five years, I personally have done 200 to 300 male breast reductions per year.”

Among cosmetic surgery procedures for men in the U.S. breast reduction ranks fourth, after nose re-shaping, eyelid surgery and liposuction, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Though the number of male breast reductions in the U.S. in 2008 showed a 16 percent decrease from the previous year, this could be for economic reasons. Male breast reduction is generally not covered by health insurance. In England, one surgeon said that the pressure on males to have their breasts surgically reduced came from men's magazines.

“Many men are feeling the pressure from men's magazines that weren't even being published five or six years ago,” Rajiv Grover, a consultant plastic surgeon, told the BBC. Excess breast tissue, or gynecomastia, can be due to obesity, says Dr. Malcolm Roth, director of plastic surgery at Maimonides Medical Center. “I caution any patient before they get surgery to make certain they have exhausted all possibilities to try to correct with other means, like trying to lose weight,” he states.

Men who are bothered by so-called “man boobs” shouldn't assume that they have the problem because they are overweight, says Dr. Sharon Rosenbaum-Smith, a breast surgeon at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital. Gynecomastia can also occur from taking certain prescription medications, from using illicit drugs like heroin, methadone and marijuana, and in rare cases, from male breast cancer. Even testicular cancer can cause gynecomastia, she says.

This is part of an article published by the New York Daily News. The entire article can be found here:

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