Plastic Surgeon Sculpts Mens’ Chests

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Plastic surgeon Elliot Jacobs in New York City takes part of the new MTV episode of "I Want a Famous Face" by sculpting a man's chest.

A 23-year-old MTV devotee – who has longed for a chest like the one on former body builder and current Golden State Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger – will get his wish on television, on Tuesday, April 12. For MTV’s “I Want a Famous Face,” series, viewers will see the young man’s chest being surgically reduced by New York City’s Elliot W. Jacobs, whom you could rightfully call the designated plastic surgeon for the “I Want Arnold’s Chest” segment. (We won’t know the young man’s name until the program airs.) MTV didn’t pay for the surgery; they just documented the man’s journey

Until recently, Dr. Jacobs’s young patient had a fleshy, girl-like chest and has been teased mercilessly most his life by classmates for growing small boobs.

But Dr. Jacobs wants you to know the young man, and others like him, are not freaks. No way.

Dr. Jacobs has specialized in chest sculpting for men for years and has long been a crusader to let guys, dudes, men and just plain fellows know it’s okay to have a flabby chest or even some pointy, jiggly things on the chest that resemble a 12-year-old girl in puberty.

“A flabby chest on a guy is a medical thing,” says Dr. Jacobs. “It has a name – gynecomastia – and can be corrected by a properly trained plastic surgeon. Moreover, the tissue in gynecomastia is real breast tissue – not fat – and can’t be worked off if you do bench presses daily for the rest of your life.”

Gynecomastia is a benign enlargement that appears on about 40 percent of all men who have what appear to be beginner breasts. It happens because nature deposits fat in the male midsection.

What’s more, flabby chests have been happening to guys for thousands of years. We know this because statues of the ancient Egyptian ruler, Pharaoh Seti I, have enlarged breasts. (And nobody was putting him down!) Aristotle reported encountering the problem among all those handsome ancient Greeks while the oldest description of the surgical removal of gynecomastia caused breasts is found in the writings of Paulus of Aegineta who lived from 636 to 690 A.D.

Modern day men, unfortunately, make the gynecomastia problem grow worse by taking anabolic steroids to increase their muscle size during weight lifting and using some illegal drugs, most notably marijuana.

“Some guys come into my practice wearing a compression vest or they bind themselves down with rolls of ace bandages to make their chests flatter,” says Dr. Jacobs, a board-certified aesthetic surgeon who performs the full range of plastic and reconstructive surgery. Guys afflicted with gynecomastia run into problems at school when they must take gang showers after gym or when the basketball coach divides teams into shirts and skins. Nor do guys with flabby chests look forward to the beach and the swimming pool. The guys with gynecomastia cringe because their chests jiggle and bounce. Guys, being guys, are always quick to loudly point out somebody else’s shortcomings.

“I’ve seen a few guys who purposely gain a lot of weight because it’s more acceptable to be large and have a big belly than stay thin and have large breasts,” Dr. Jacobs says.

A catch-22 scenario arises when a man with gynecomastia trains like Arnold himself once did, builds some heavy muscle on his chest and still has flabby breasts. It’s because the newly developed muscle pushes the breast tissue forward, giving the chest a round and fluffy appearance.

Moreover, Gynecomastia can run in a guy’s family. The appearance is caused by a combination of dense breast tissue under the nipple and fatty tissue over the pectoralis major muscle. Those broad, flat muscles that run from each armpit to the sternum and from the collarbone to mid-chest are known to body builders as “pecs.” They are the same muscles that Schwarzenegger developed to such a state high of perfection, he was named Mr. Universe. And became the envy of body conscious guys everywhere.

Sometimes, depending on the case, a surgeon can take out the chest flab with liposuction alone. At other times, surgeons must use a little more surgery to remove the more firm breast tissue. But a man won’t look like he’s been in a lot of knife fights because many surgeons go into the chest through an incision made at the edge of areola, the dark tissue surrounding the nipple. And that hides the scars.

“Chest implants for men are rarely used,” says Dr. Jacobs. “The basic use of implants is when two sides of the chest are lopsided.

“The other great thing would be if more men would just talk about the condition,” Dr. Jacobs says. “But can you imagine two men sitting on a bench in a gym and one saying: ‘You know, my breasts are just way too big. I just so hate it.’? It’ll never happen.”

But at a time when top political leaders and the most macho sports stars appear on television holding pills that treat erectile dysfunction, why can’t other guys talk about gynecomastia, a condition visited upon almost half of men?

Maybe more discussion will start after more guys tune into “I Want a Famous Chest” and learn exactly why many men’s chests are flabby.

Dr. Jacobs’s website:

Information about plastic surgery:

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Charles Downey
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