Man vs. Boob

mellieb on 19 Oct 2010 at 5:33pm

It’s a seminal moment in Hollywood history: dazzlingly handsome bloke and action hero extraordinaire Tom Cruise has apparently developed man boobs, as seen in publicity shots from his latest film, Mission Impossible IV. Short of borrowing Katie’s La Perlas, what’s Mr. Risky Business to do?

Tom, you’re not alone. Men in the US spent over $53M on male breast reductions last year. And, according to a RealSelf - Harris Interactive survey from November 2009, 4% of men aged 55+ would want a breast reduction if cost wasn’t an issue.

Enlarged male breasts, or gynecomastia, can be a result of weight gain or hormonal changes related to aging (Cruise is 48), as well as hormone disorders, tumors or the use of certain drugs. The condition can affect both sides of the chest, just the nipple or the entire pectoral region. Reduction surgery removes breast tissue and skin, sometimes involving liposuction.

RealSelf community member Ampiman1 shared how the condition made him feel: “I am 49-year-old male with a woman's breasts. They droop and are heavy for me to carry. My life is steadily declining because of my embarassment.”

“In our culture, we expect men to be able to take their shirt off in the locker room, at the beach, or at a pool party,” notes Dr. Navin Singh, a Washington, DC plastic surgeon. “Men with gynecomastia feel sidelined.” Gynecomastia correction is the most rewarding surgery Dr. Singh does. “The men feel restored to a masculine shape--no longer feeling ‘less than a man’. Life changing is the only way I can describe it.”

The surgery comes with an average price tag of $5,700, which can vary based on the extent of the procedure. 63% of those who reviewed the surgery said it was Worth It. “So glad I did it!” shares elated community member Bikerider7777. “ I am so pleased, words aren't sufficient to convey my gratitude.”

More on RealSelf

Check out male breast reduction before and after photos

Male breast reduction before and after