The percentage of young men who have had breast reduction surgery in the US has surged over the past year, new figures have shown.
Rising faster than any other procedure sought by teenagers, some 6,694 boys and men aged between 13 and 19 underwent the surgery in 2014. Such procedures can cost between $5,000 to $15,000, depending on the area of the country.
Gynaecomastia, which causes extra tissue to form in one or both of the breasts, is a common condition which is most likely to affect teenage boys and older men, according to the NHS.
While being overweight can raise the level of oestrogen, the popularity of the surgery may not be exclusively linked to the country’s obesity epidemic.
Gynaecomastia can also be caused by an imbalance in testosterone and oestrogen, both as teenagers are going through puberty and when older men produce less testosterone.
Dr Scot Glasberg, a New York City plastic surgeon who treats teenagers with the condition told Fusion.Net that most people with gynaecomastia have a "relatively normal body weight".
He added that there is a “psycho-social” element to opting for the surgery, as well as the fact that “word has gotten out” about the procedure.
Dr Glasberg went on to explain that doctors will generally recommend diet and exercise for whose enlarged breasts are caused by excessive fatty tissue, while those with excess glandular tissue are given liposuction.
However, Dr Glasberg said this was generally not recommended until after a patient has completed puberty, as the condition can correct itself.
Meanwhile in the UK, breast reduction surgery for men has doubled since 2009.
Some 200 men in the last five years have been so badly affected by the condition that they have had the procedure on the NHS, the Daily Mail reported.
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