About Gynecomastia in Bodybuilders
Over 25 years ago Dr. Blau began performing male breast surgery regularly. One of his patients was a well-known bodybuilder, who, while advancing his career felt that his condition interfered with his professional life. Anabolic steroids are often the cause of gynecomastia in athletes and bodybuilders. The large male breasts consist of mammary gland tissue. Most of the breast tissue is behind the areola nipple complex which causes protruding nipples. The condition may appear worse prior to important competitions because when a bodybuilder is palpated and at his leanest, the condition becomes more obvious.
The type of gynecomastia commonly seen in these athletes is attributable to synthetic anabolic steroid use. The hormone testosterone levels rise rapidly in these men when large quantities of exogenous steroids are ingested, and their bodies respond by converting this excess testosterone into the hormone estrogen by means of aromatase enzymes. The higher levels of testosterone will produce the muscle mass gains desired, but the increased estrogen often causes permanent changes in the glandular tissue of the breast. This type of gynecomastia can happen at any time, even after the first injection.
Men that develop gynecomastia after their teenage years may have little to no psychological distress. However, for many, it can leave them feeling embarrassed or emasculated and can lead to poor body image.
For bodybuilders, this surgery can be done only by excision of the breast tissue, which in the case of bodybuilders is, by itself, sufficient enough to achieve a flat nipple-areola complex. Liposuction is only rarely necessary. To minimize scarring, the breast incision is done in the lower part of the areola, and is typically one inch long.
The rate of gynecomastia recurrence is extremely low when the surgery is done correctly with excision of most of the mammary gland tissue. In Dr. Blau’s experience, bodybuilders are usually very content with their results. And, in the vast majority of cases, the surgery has a positive impact on their professional and personal lives. Before surgery is considered, Dr. Blau recommends to body builders that they stop any and all anabolic steroids, lomega supplements, protein shakes, and any pain medication use due to the risk of increased bleeding. A complete package of prohibited substances will be provided by Dr. Blau.
As with all cosmetic surgery, results will be rewarding if expectations are realistic. As with any surgery, there are some risks which your doctor will discuss with you.