A Chinese man elected to undergo cosmetic surgery after he developed an abnormally large breast, and doctors believed the culprit to be a diet with too much fast food.
A man using the alias Xiao Yang, 19, underwent cosmetic surgery to remove breast tissue that had accumulated in his right chest, according to the Daily Mail.
He first began to notice the breast was larger than normal around age 13, finally deciding to remove it after years of trying to conceal it.
Yang's parents had taken him to various hospitals around China in an attempt to find a cure for his condition but had not found anything effective. The breast tissue had grown to the point where it was interfering with his daily life.
When Yang visited the surgeon who would perform the breast reduction surgery, he was given an ultrasound to determine how extensive the tissue expansion was. It turns out Yang had enough breast tissue in his right chest to fill an A-cup bra. The left side of Yang's chest appeared normal and without any signs of swelling.
The surgeons performed a mastectomy to correct Yang's gynecomastia, a hormonal imbalance that causes men to grow unnecessary breast tissue. He remained in the hospital for several days after the surgery to recover.
The doctors who performed the surgery say they treat roughly 100 teenage patients who have this condition every year, putting much of the blame on the diets of the patients. Fast food and other processed items contribute to the hormonal imbalance that causes gynecomastia, the doctors say.
Surgery to correct gynecomastia in the U.S. can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000, according to the New York Post.
Even though the surgery is not covered by insurance because it's not medically necessary, gynecomastia procedures have spiked. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, gynecomastia-related surgery requests have risen by 36 percent since 2000.
"There’s a huge number [of men] who just think, ‘Oh, it’s fat, I can work it out,’" said Dr. Elliot Jacobs, a plastic surgeon in New York who performs these types of surgeries. "But it doesn’t really change that much when you work out. When you put on muscle, it pushes [the breasts] out further."
The surgeries performed in the U.S. are minimally invasive and generally require no more than a few hours' stay in the hospital. Most recovery times range from two weeks to a month, with most men allowed to return to physical activity after a few weeks.
"Guys get really worried about it psychologically,” added Jacobs. "Their whole life is controlled by this. They can’t take off their shirts. They’re very conscious about their chest -- they think everyone’s looking at them."
Sources: Daily Mail, New York Post / Featured Image: Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/Flickr / Embedded Images: Asia Wire via Daily Mail