According to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), more and more adolescent boys are undergoing breast-reduction surgery to treat gynecomastia, or enlarged male breasts.

In 2006, 14,000 boys aged 13 to 19 underwent surgery to reduce the size of their breasts. That represents 70% of all the male patients who had such surgery last year, an increase of 21% over the previous year for that age group.

Plastic surgeons say that the foremost reason for the surgery is the rise in obesity. At the same time, there is a willingness among pediatricians and plastic surgeons to surgically treat the condition.

Often, enlarged breasts are simply part of adolescence, most commonly caused by the hormonal fluctuation of puberty, according to the National Institutes of Health. But in a society that values chiseled abs, adolescent boys are willing to resort to surgery to fix problems that their bodies may resolve later on their own.

According to physicians, the price range for the surgery is $4,000 to $10,000, depending on the complexity of the procedure.

[www.orlandosentinel.com, October 2, 2007]