Our society places a high value on looking young and fit. Gym memberships have soared over the past 2 decades, and a good physique is equated with success. However few of us are born perfect. Even the fittest male can have an overgrowth of breast tissue or gynaecomastia. The medical term gynaecomastia comes from the Greek word for “woman-like breasts”. It’s much more common than is generally recognised, affecting an estimated 40 to 60 percent of men, especially those over 50. Although there are certain medical conditions and drugs (including marijuana and alcohol) that can cause enlarged breasts, in the vast majority of cases there is no known cause. The problem is primarily cosmetic, causing embarrassment in the locker room and at the beach. If you’re one of the boys who will never take his shirt off, then read on. It’s never too late to correct gynaecomastia, provided you’re in good physical and psychological health. The surgery usually is not recommended for children or teenagers, since their excess tissue may disappear on its own. In selected cases, however, it may be a very important procedure for teenage males. As mentioned, Gynaecomastia can be due to either an excess of fat, or an overgrowth of breast tissue. If the problem is fat excess, then liposuction is ideal. However if the problem is tough fibrous tissue, then a direct excision of the tissue is generally required. Both procedures are performed as a day procedure and in some cases, local excision can be performed in our rooms under local anaesthetic. Whether you’ve had liposuction or excision (cutting) surgery, you may feel some discomfort for a few days afterwards. In any case, you should arrange to have someone drive you home after surgery. Cosmetic surgery can enhance your appearance and your self confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal, or cause other people to treat you differently either at work or in your social life. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them frankly with your surgeon. The results of body contouring surgery are significant and permanent. If your expectations are realistic, chances are good that you’ll be very satisfied with your new look. If you have further questions, write them down and ask Dr McGovern and his helpful staff at your consultation. Plastic surgeons today are well versed in the concerns of men seeking cosmetic surgery. They recognise that men demand strict confidentiality and inconspicuous results. Dr McGovern is more than willing to answer any questions you may have.