More than one man, devastated by the constant sly looks and whispered conversations behind his back, has considered his life with gynecomastia to be not worth living. A man with grossly enlarged breast tissue is made to feel less masculine every time someone makes a snide remark or sneaks a surreptitious glance at his chest. Over time, his confidence wears away and he is left in despair. Thankfully, medical procedures can correct the problem restoring his confidence and quality of life.

The international press calls them 'moobs' and delights in printing photographs of aging film stars with their 'man boobs' on full display - usually cavorting with young women on the back of a speed boat. Replete with success and lavish lifestyles the celebrities in question could probably care less about the world's opinion of the excess of fatty breast tissue that is so obvious in the pictures.

But for those ordinary men and boys who suffer from gynecomastia the appearance of their enlarged breast tissue is highly embarrassing. For some, having this condition seems to define every aspect of their lives, from the changing rooms after a sports game where inevitably the sight of gynecomastic breasts will draw unwelcome attention to the board meeting in later life, where making a powerful presentation is made impossible as the speaker is distracted by those members of the audience that are blatantly focussing more on his abnormal chest than on his speech.

Gynecomastia can first present itself in puberty and though it may cause a few uncomfortable years, this form of the condition often disappears by the early twenties. Aging and obesity are two other causes, as are drug and steroid abuse and medical conditions like liver disease, oestrogen producing tumours, and hyper-thyroidism.

Though not everyone makes a good candidate for a reduction mammaplasty, the medical procedures involved in reducing enlarged breast tissue are very effective.

Where the enlarged breast is mostly caused by an excess of fatty tissue, liposuction or lipoplasty may be all that is required to reduce the gynecomastia. The procedure is simple. A hollow tube is inserted into the breast and moved around by an experienced plastic surgeon. This action breaks down fatty tissue and prepares it to be removed from the breast by vacuum suction.

In other cases, where glandular swelling or excess skin is involved, surgical excision will be required. This is especially the case where the gynecomastia has caused swelling or distortion of the nipple. Nipple droop is often seen as part of the gynecomastia problem and it is of huge significance to the men whom it affects. (It is easy to forget that they are bombarded with stereotypes of strong manly chests with pert nipples just as often as women are bombarded with big breasted and impossibly beautiful women.) During the excision operation the nipple may be repositioned to a more naturally manly position.

Wherever possible surgical incision scars will be hidden in natural folds or body creases. In cases where this is not possible the resulting scar is never as obvious and distressing as the gynecomastia which brought the patient into surgery in the first place.