Male breast reduction surgery on the rise

Men are turning to surgery for reduction of overly large ‘breasts’ in almost equal numbers to women as the latest numbers from the US show. The American Society for Plastic Surgeons recently released their 2015 figures and male breast reduction surgery now accounts for 40 per cent of all breast reduction procedures performed last year.

What does male breast reduction surgery entail?

Gynaecomastia is a relatively common condition affecting men; the male chest area becomes enlarged, giving the appearance of often pronounced breasts. Gynaecomastia can be divided into two types; the first is often seen as true gynaecomastia and is the result of a swelling of the small amount of firm, glandular breast tissue that all men have. This is usually due to a hormonal imbalance and is often seen during puberty or later on in life. It can also be caused by a reaction to certain medications.

‘False’ or ‘psuedo’ gynaecomastia is the accumulation of fatty tissue in the chest area or an excess of the skin, often the result of extreme weight loss where the tissues have stretched and will not snap back, despite diet and exercise.

Whatever the cause, this condition, often described in insulting terms such as ‘man boobs’ or ‘moobs’, can result in great emotional distress. This can affect the sufferer’s self-esteem and ability to wear certain clothes, perform everyday activities, or even maintain close physical relationships, so breast reduction surgery can be a highly effective solution.

If the problem is due to an excess of fatty tissue and the skin had good elasticity, then liposuction alone can usually produce a very pleasing result. Small incisions are made and the liposuction cannula is inserted, gently breaking up and removing fat cells and reshaping the chest area. An increase in glandular tissue may need to be removed in a similar procedure to female breast reduction surgery. Incisions are typically made in the nipple area and the glandular tissue and any excess skin is excised. This procedure can be combined with liposuction if necessary. If the excess is very great, more extensive incisions (and consequently greater scarring) may be needed.

In the US last year, men underwent 27,500 of the reported total of 68,106 breast reduction procedures, a five per cent rise on the previous year. In the UK, we saw an even more marked rise with male breast reduction surgery up by 13 per cent, according to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), the leading independent plastic surgery association of which I am a member.

For more information on gynaecomastia surgery call 01926 436341 to book a consultation at my Leamington Cosmetic Surgery Clinic.

New study shows Botox could boost long-term results of dermal fillers

Injectables are the most popular non-surgical aesthetic procedures in the UK, used both for enhancement and the treatment of facial ageing. They can be broadly divided into two types of treatment; wrinkle relaxers derived from botulinum toxin and volumisers, typically based on a form of hyaluronic acid gel.

Reading between the lines

botox for crow's feetNot all lines and wrinkles are the same and different technologies and products have been developed to treat them. Dynamic wrinkles are caused by the continual contraction of the muscles underneath the skin and they are commonly found in the upper third of the face in the form of crow’s feet and frown lines. Botulinum toxin, famously known as Botox, is a protein that temporarily interrupts the facial nerves from instructing the muscles to move. This produces a smoothing of the overlying skin, a temporary effect which will wear off approximately six months after treatment.

Dermal fillers, on the other hand, work as volumisers, filling folds and lines that occur as the ageing process depletes levels of collagen and elastin in the skin. These dermal fillers lift and smooth the skin by adding volume. The most popular dermal fillers on the market are hyaluronic acid fillers; HA is a naturally-occurring substance in the skin so they are usually very well-tolerated.

Over time the HA is absorbed by the body, meaning results are temporary. Manufacturers of the two leading brands, Juvederm and Restylane, have continued to improve their products, partly to extend result longevity, and they can now last up to 18 months.

Botox vs HA dermal fillers combined

Now, a new study has suggested it may be possible to prolong the results of hyaluronic acid dermal fillers by combining them with Botox. In a paper recently published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, researchers at a Turkish university have found that chemodenervation, the process by which botulinum toxin paralyses the nerves, can lengthen the results of HA fillers, by reducing muscle activity that can break the fillers down in the dermis.

In a study of rabbits, a small amount of hyaluronic acid filler was injected just in front of the ear, as it corresponds closely to the forehead in humans. One side was injected with HA dermal filler alone and the other was treated with a combination of HA filler and botulinum toxin. Three months later, MRI scans showed that the botulinum toxin had decreased the rate that the HA filler had degraded. In fact, quite dramatic results were recorded, with 50 per cent more filler left in the side combined with botulinum toxin. As this was an animal study, it will be necessary to await a similar study in humans to be certain the same effect occurs, but the findings are of more than passing interest.

To find out more about the benefits of non-surgical procedures such as Botox or dermal fillers call 01926 436341 to book a consultation at my Leamington cosmetic surgery clinic.