Flyers legend Bernie Parent is opening up about an embarrassing condition that affects men of all ages. He's also revealing an option for those with the condition that does not involve surgery.
FOX 29's Joyce Evans shares his story.
We know him as a legend on ice, Flyers royalty, twice Stanley Cup champ, immortalized on film, a charitable man, a charmer with fans, and confident. But there's something we didn't know about the star goalie of the famous Broad Street Bullies. After 40 years, he's revealing that he has gynecomastia, which is a condition that causes a female appearance on a male chest.
"I didn't spend any time on the beach with my kids, haven't been on the beach with my grandkids," said Parent.
He would never even take his shirt off.
Excessive breast tissue can be hereditary, caused by hormone shifting from puberty, almost like an estrogen surge. The condition is made worse by layers of stubborn fat. At least 1 in 4 men in Parent's age group is affected, especially former athletes.
"I got tired of it,” said Parent.
So he decided to open up about it when Plastic Surgeon Steven Davis told him his condition might be greatly improved without surgery.
"I'm not afraid of sharing this with people because I'm sure I'm not the only one in this world to feel this way by sharing this with people hopefully, people will come forward and won't have to wait as long as I did,” said Parent.
Parent is getting one of the newest applications of fat freezing CoolSculpting treatment. He's willing to try three recommended sessions even if he's not completely flat-chested at the end.
"People make comments like 'Oh, you're fine,'" said Parent. No, it's important to me. It's not what's important to other people it's important to me."
Weeks later; "It's working good. I have no pain, the next day I went working out, everything's fine," said Parent.
After two treatments Parent saw quite an improvement.
"I love it, I'm good, of course," he said.
Dr. Davis says Parent has a few more weeks of fat melting and some skin tightening to go, but he could use another treatment down the road.
Results seem to vary from person to person, depending on your age, and how much fat you have, in addition to the breast tissue and loose skin.
Dr. Davis stresses the freezing only works on fat layers you can't exercise away, and he says "slow melting" may tighten some skin. You may also have to get surgery to remove any excess breast tissue, according to Dr. Davis.