Bodybuilders and Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is a condition that causes enlarged breast growth in some men. The problem is rarely painful, but it can be very embarrassing, particularly for bodybuilders who use their bodies to compete in their sport. Unfortunately, gynecomastia also tends to occur more frequently in this section of the male population. If you are suffering personally or professionally from this condition, Dr. Millard has treatment options that can reverse gynecomastia and give you a more masculine body contour.

Causes of Gynecomastia

There are many reasons why gynecomastia may develop, including hormonal irregularities, weight gain, underlying medical conditions and some types of medication. When gynecomastia occurs in bodybuilders, the culprit is generally the steroids they take to help sculpt their bodies for competition. Anabolic steroids produce large amounts of testosterone, which help to increase muscle mass. However, excess testosterone in the body can also be converted into the female hormone estrogen, which can lead to the growth of male breasts.

Gynecomastia may appear more prevalent in bodybuilders right before a competition, since this is the time when the rest of the body is typically at its leanest. Gynecomastia caused by steroid use typically involves glandular tissue and not excess fat, which affects how the condition should be treated. The problem can also become permanent, even after just one steroid injection, necessitating surgical procedures to reverse the problem.

Treating Gynecomastia in Bodybuilders

Surgical treatment for gynecomastia in bodybuilders usually means surgical excision of the glandular tissue in the breast. In these situations, most of the glandular tissue will need to be removed at one time. If it is not, the gynecomastia problem can return when the individual begins taking steroids again. Liposuction will not effectively reduce gynecomastia in these patients, since liposuction primarily addresses isolated pockets of fat cells and not glandular tissue.

A study that was published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery earlier this year found that breast reduction surgery tends to produce good outcomes in bodybuilders struggling with gynecomastia. Most of the test subjects reviewed in this study were “extremely satisfied” with the results of their surgery, even if they returned to taking steroids after the procedure. This study offers hope to bodybuilders experiencing gynecomastia, assuring them a single surgical procedure will likely resolve their problem.

Dr. Millard offers breast reduction surgery to male patients at his Lone Tree office in Colorado. Most of these procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and patients can return to most activities within a few days. Bodybuilders are advised to refrain from taking steroids for a period of time before and after surgery and build slowly back into their workout program to avoid the risk of complications after the procedure. To learn more about gynecomastia treatment, contact Millard Plastic Surgery at 303-792-5665.

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