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Why some men are asking for breast-reduction surgery

januari 31, 2018

January 28   
With the music of rapper Jay-Z blaring in the background, Marwan Khalifeh, a Washington-area cosmetic surgeon, vigorously plunged a strawlike metal probe back and forth through the breasts of a patient lying on an operating table, as if he were playing a cello.The goal was to reduce the size of his patient’s breasts, an increasingly common procedure for women who decide to change their lifestyle or address a medical condition. And Khalifeh’s surgical room on the 17th floor of a medical arts building in Friendship Heights is arrayed with state-of-the-art equipment, including a laser machine called the Smartlipo MPX that emulsifies unwanted fat.

But in this case, Khalifeh was using his surgical talents to shrink the breasts of a 32-year-old man who has suffered the indignities of having a feminine shape most of his life.

David, a government contracting consultant and self-described physical fitness zealot, had spent years trying to hide the size of his breasts with loosefitting or dark-colored shirts and by avoiding beaches or locker rooms where he might have to bare his chest. He long complained that his oversize breasts — a small B cup of breast tissue — had frustrated his bodybuilding efforts and made it harder to lose weight.

David (who agreed to be interviewed for this article on the condition that his last name be withheld to guard his privacy) says he was emotionally scarred growing up in Texas when buddies made fun of his breasts.

Marwan Khalifeh performs a breast-reduction procedure on a male patient. More than 27,000 American men opted for this treatment in 2016. (Eric Pianin)
‘Womanlike breasts’

“When you’re hot-dogging with friends and they’re doing titty-twisters, you laugh it off, but it hurts,” David said as he was being prepped for the surgery one afternoon in mid-December. “People want to be happy with what they see in the mirror every day, and I wasn’t happy with what I saw.”

The scientific word for enlarged male breasts is gynecomastia, from the Greek for “womanlike breasts.”

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