Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A Manly Push to Look Better

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A Manly Push to Look Better

Article excerpt

When it comes to a breast reduction or a tummy tuck, what's the first thing that comes to mind? "The Real Housewives Orange County"? Pamela Anderson? Dolly Parton?

Meet the new face of plastic surgery. It goes by names like Greg and Kyle, two patients of Dr. Paul Parker, of the Parker Center for Plastic Surgery in Paramus. "I was overweight for years. I got myself back to peak physical form, but no matter what I did, no matter how hard I tried, I just could not get rid of the fat deposits on my chest," says Greg, 53, who, for as unashamed as he says he is about getting a breast reduction, asks that we keep his last name private.

Hoboken resident Kyle Brister, 26, was in a similar situation - except his primary problem was his stomach. "I went from 310 pounds to 185 through diet and exercise, and had excess skin around my abdominal area," he says. He has no regrets about having a tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty. "It's not cheap. The recovery wasn't easy. But the benefits outweigh the cost," he says.

Breast reductions, tummy tucks, liposuctions, enlarging of the male chest, eye jobs, nose jobs, face-lifts ... they're all becoming more and more popular among the male patient population, say experts in the plastic surgery field.

"The numbers keep going up each year. Because people are living longer, and living healthier, and they want to look as good as they feel. That is just as true for men as women," says Parker, who adds that men account for between 12 and 15 percent of his practice.

There were 68,106 aesthetic breast reduction surgeries in the United States in 2015, and for the first time men accounted for more than 40 percent of those procedures, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

A total of 27,456 breast reduction surgeries (gynecomastia) were performed on men, representing a 5-percent increase over the previous year and a 35-percent growth since 2000, according to the ASPS.

"As plastic surgery is becoming more common and accepted in men, we're seeing more of them undergo procedures to tighten and tone problem areas, like the breasts," ASPS President Dr. David H. Song says in a statement on the organization's website. "This procedure is often done in younger men who face genetic challenges with the size and shape of their breasts, and when appropriate, surgery can make a big difference in their lives."

When it comes to the old so-called "man boobs," there is more than just the kind that comes from flab. "They can come from a variety of conditions," explains Dr. Harris Sterman, chief of plastic surgery at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck. "It could be just natural obesity. Or some men have actual breast tissue, either because of excessive female hormones or because of an excessive response to female hormones. …

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