Study Shows Steroid Use Can Cause Gynecomastia

Plastic Surgery | Boston | Dr. Christopher Davidson

A recent in-house study conducted by a Newport Beach plastic surgeon found that about half his male patients have hormone-induced gynecomastia, or enlarged breast tissue. Even more interesting, the majority of these patients were body builders who had used steroids at some point in their fitness lifestyle.

Steroids have a well-known reputation for negative side effects. Increased aggression, stunted growth, and excessive hair growth are just a few of the external physical problems caused by abusing this substance. Steroids can alsowreak havoc on hormone levels. Testosterone levels actually decrease, while estrogen levels increase. This happens because the steroids are converted by the body into estrogen, usually by the fat cells. One result of this occurrence is an increase in the development of breast tissue.

Many body builders are very conscious of their physical appearance. Because steroids can also increase muscle mass, strength, and lower body fat, body builders will use steroids to heighten their muscular appearance and increase their strength for their workouts. While some may research the benefits and consequences of using steroids, these body builders and other exercise fanatics may not fully realize the effect prolonged steroid use will have on their hormones. Breast tissue that develops from an increased level of estrogen doesn’t go away once a person stops using steroids. It becomes a permanent fixture and can become even more pronounced by looser skin and sagging if the muscle mass decreases.

Because of this reality, gynecomastia surgery is the only real solution for removing that extra breast tissue. Weight loss and muscle toning won’t fix the problem because the breast tissue that develops is not fatty tissue.

What to Do About Fatty Tissue?

However, this type of surgery is not uncommon among males. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has found that it is, in fact, one of the most common plastic surgeries conducted on male patients.

Dr. Davidson can perform this surgery as an outpatient procedure on-site at his state-of-the-art surgery center in Boston, MA. The surgery takes just a couple of hours with local or general anesthesia. Male breasts can be reduced using a combination of liposuction, glandular tissue removal, and a careful amount of skin removal. There is little scarring that is concealed using the areolar tissue and most patients are able to return to their regular schedules in about a week. The only bad news for body builders is that strenuous exercise should be avoided for three to four weeks.

Contact the Right Doctor

To schedule a consultation on gynecomastia correction, or male breast reduction, call (781) 237-7700 to reach our office in Wellesley. Phone and email consultations can be conducted for out-of-town patients, and assistance will be provided in forming any necessary travel arrangements before and after surgery.

Dr. Davidson is a Harvard-trained plastic surgeon from Santa Barbara, CA. In addition to his surgery center in Wellesley, hepractices at Newton Wellesley Hospital and is an assistant professor of surgery at Tufts University.

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