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Bravo to Bravery: Reality TV stars challenge the stigma of gynecomastia

Reality TV costars of Bravo’s “Newlyweds: The First Year,” Brandon Liberati and Craig Ramsay appeared at the Center Club in Costa Mesa recently for a cozy evening of cocktails and conversation about gynecomastia, abnormal swelling of breast tissue in men caused from an imbalance of hormones that affects about 65 percent of men.

In the latest episode of the show, Liberati goes under the knife with Joseph T. Cruise, M.D., of Cruise Plastic Surgery, Newport Beach, to remove his gynecomastia. “It’s something I hid my whole life that I’m finally ready to share,” Liberati said.

When Liberati found fibrous lumps in his chest, the couple decided to consult Cruise. “With gynecomastia it’s different,” Cruise explained. “We’re not only helping men feel better, we’re giving them their masculinity back.” The procedure is life-changing as well as life-saving, in some cases. The process also brought the couple closer: Communication and positive affirmations are essential to overcoming tough medical situations during marriage, the couple said.

After enjoying a sneak peak of the emotional episode in the Encore Lounge, guests, including fellow Bravo TV personalities Jeana Keough (“The Real Housewives of Orange County”) and Nadine Jolie Courtney and Erik Courtney (“Newlyweds: The First Year”), enjoyed more conversation with Cruise and a raffle drawing. A wildly supportive network audience took to social media, tweeting, “Finally, reality on reality TV.”

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