Dr. Khoo: People talk about gynecomastia as being manboobs but in fact, gynecomastia means woman boobs on a man. Garnica is in gynecology and nastier from the breast and in technical terms, gynecomastia occurs was said to occur when there is a breast disc a lump under the nipple that you can feel more often. It’s not just the net worth but swelling of the breast tissue and quite often there’s a lot of surrounding fat gynecomastia that can have such an effect on a man’s life that when he’s got to the stage where he’s struggling to live with the way things are. He really needs to understand that there is a surgical solution there is an operation that can help him.
Narrator: In America, breast reduction surgery is now the fourth most popular cosmetic procedure for men.
Dr: Delgado: The pressure on men to look good is huge you look in the newspaper and magazines, clothes, hair, gel, smells, you know exercise, dieting, you know all these things are about people looking good and feeling good about themselves
Narrator: In a country where men strive for physical perfection having breasts can have a devastating effect on a man’s body image. Alex Gonzalez is so inhibited by his breasts but he is never undressed in front of another person let alone a woman and at 30 years old he’s still a virgin.
Alex Gonzalez: It’s funny because that movie that came out 40-year-old virgin, I said “gosh it’s gonna be 10 more years and that movie is gonna be just dedicated for me,” and it’s sad I’ve had three or four girlfriends but I consider my girlfriend’s but I’ve never been intimate with them and before it goes to that step I ended it.
Narrator: No one has ever seen them and it took days for him to psych himself up to show us his chest.
Alex: Even myself I get embarrassed taking off my shirt when I’m by myself I can go to the bathroom and I just look on my face I don’t look on my chest it’s just to block it out my life is not going anywhere unless I correct my condition that’s how I feel right now emotionally.
Narrator: Alex has made the decision to have surgery and is flying to the west coast to see a specialist in male breast reduction.
Alex: Hopefully this is gonna be fun again I’m just being very positive I think it’s the best thing to do just be positive about it and you know come on okay.
Narrator: He is going alone, having told his friends and family he’s on a university trip. Alex is hoping surgery will give him the confidence to leave his lies and secrets behind Alex has chosen a specialist in San Francisco, Dr. Delgado has treated nearly a hundred men last year.
Dr. Delgado: It is going up every year without question, that’s going up every year our culture is very hard on men for having a large chest it’s very acceptable for a man to have a large gut I mean no one even thinks about it but as soon as it comes through their chest it changes completely.
Narrator: First Dr. Delgado examines Alex’s chest.
Dr: Delgado: The first thing is great to give nice pecs you know which is really good he has really good quality skin but I want to just give me a nice flex with your PEC, okay and so all this is the tissue that we’re talking about okay cuz.
Narrator: It’s the first time anyone has ever touched Alex’s breasts Dr. Delgado uses pictures so he can compare Alex to other cases and show him the options available.
Dr: Delgado: You can see the protrusion of the nipple you know what’s poking that nipple is that hard gland there and so afterward we’ve kind of nice new blood is right underneath yeah that’s the center of the gland this is what I call the smooth pea look from when you do a Pikeville section only he’s had it done twice it so that gland is just kind of like hanging down so after the glands are taken out then we get a much more contour and contraction. Their patient’s like this you know I know he’s going to have the loose Arella like how stretched that is and this he has a case where one would do a secondary procedure on him but I tell him it upfront because I know there’s no way that this is gonna bring back.
Narrator: Approximately 10% of men who have gynecomastia surgery go back for another procedure to remove loose skin or breast tissue that wasn’t taken the first time around. It’s the morning of Alex’s operation…
Dr: Delgado: Hey Alex, how are you doing? Good? All set to go?
Alex: Good, I’m actually looking forward to this change and it needs to happen now
Narrator: Dr. Delgado treats patients from all over the states and has men traveled from other countries to see him. He has a particular technique for achieving a smooth overall contour rather than just focusing on the front of Alex’s chest he performs liposuction from the sides and back as well.
Dr: Delgado: When I do liposuction of the armpit area I turn the patient on their side and I stretch their arm out to really expose it well and then I make one or two holes to extract the fat in a very aggressive way. The more fat that’s taken underneath the skin the better contraction will get so the elastic fibers can do their work. I placed the patient elevated at about 70 or 80 degrees. That allows me to see how gravity affects their chest. I’m comparing side-by-side and I’m trying to do to the best of my ability to match them. It’s like an artist painting, you know, he’ll sit there for hours and just paint landscape well I’m kind of doing that in my own world. After four and a half hours of surgery and nearly five and a half pints of fat and breast tissue have been removed from Alex’s chest. Alex will have to wait at least a month to have his dressings and stitches removed but the next morning he can’t resist taking a peek at his chest.
Alex: It looks good from up here quite different I mean it’s still swollen I think it’s gonna take 1 month to for it to go down but it’s gonna be great, I think.
Narrator: Dr. Delgado comes to check there’s no bleeding you look perky there is no doubt that Alex’s operation has been a success and with that knowledge, he can start to look to the future.
Alex: That was quite hard but I’m glad I did it because I feel, I do feel better and to feel better about myself. I’m looking forward to a new life.
Dr: Delgado: As I told Alex your chest will look good and in a few months your mind and the way you look at yourself have to catch up to it. You still have to get over the scars that had been implanted in your mind about your self-image and he will get there, but it just takes a little bit of time. Mike’s first men after having this surgery as a general statement are very happy extremely happy life-changing happy you.