Treatment of Gynecomastia after Steroid Use
One of the lasting side effects of anabolic steroid use is a condition called gynecomastia. It refers to enlarged breast tissue in men but is not the type caused by weight gain (called pseudogynecomastia). With gynecomastia, stubborn breast tissue develops, and the new tissue will not respond to weight loss or exercise. Fatty tissue can also be caught between the breast tissue and is very difficult to lose. Even if you were not a professional bodybuilder but used anabolic steroids to improve your physique at some point in your life, you may develop the condition. Azouz Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery includes plastic surgeons who have extensive experience treating gynecomastia after steroid use.
Gynecomastia from Steroids Signs and Symptoms
Regardless of if a person continues to body build, gynecomastia can have a negative psychosocial impact. Breast tissue and enlarged or puffy nipples can cause men to avoid shirtless activities. Some men wear baggy shirts or sweaters in order to conceal their chest. Gynecomastia also knowns as “Gyno” can have a detrimental effect on self-esteem, relationships, and mental health.
- Large or rounded breasts that lack muscle definition
- Asymmetrical breasts or nipples
- Expanded/enlarged areolas and nipples
- Gyno nipples – swollen, puffy or protruding nipples
- Feeling of hard “rocks” and “pebbles” around the chest
Steroid use is one of the most common causes of gynecomastia, but it is not the only cause. Other underlying conditions can cause gynecomastia, and some of them are serious. A plastic surgeon like Dr. Azouz can do a full medical history and complete an examination to rule out other conditions. Removal of gynecomastia with excision and/or liposuction is the most effective known treatment.
What are Anabolic Steroids?
Steroids are synthetic hormones that mimic the effects of testosterone on the body. They are used by athletes and bodybuilders to increase muscle mass and strength. However, the use of steroids can have serious side effects, including gynecomastia.
How do Steroids cause Gynecomastia?
Steroids can cause gynecomastia by increasing the level of estrogen in the body. When you take steroids, the body’s natural testosterone production is suppressed, leading to an increase in estrogen levels. This increase in estrogen levels can cause breast tissue to grow abnormally, leading to gynecomastia.
Nonsurgical Treatment versus Surgery for Gynecomastia after Steroid Use
Surgery is the most effective way to remove gynecomastia. Dr. Azouz uses a minimally invasive technique to perform gynecomastia surgery. Dr. Azouz is able to use a single incision and camouflage the scar within the areola in the vast majority of men. This procedure involves the removal of excess breast tissue usually through liposuction and excision. Gynecomastia surgery at Azouz Plastic Surgery is routinely performed as an outpatient procedure which means the patient goes home the same day as the surgery. Dr. Azouz performs the majority of gynecomastia surgery with local anesthetic in combination with sedation giving the patient a much quicker recovery compared to a general anesthetic.
Gynecomastia after steroid use is thought to be caused by hormonal imbalances, with an increase in estrogen hormone relative to testosterone. Gynecomastia formation in men can also be multifactorial and be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, medications, supplements, and obesity in combination with steroid use. The medications that are commonly prescribed to treat gynecomastia are often ineffective and are associated with complications that can actually be more dangerous than surgical risks.
Medication for Gynecomastia after Steroid Use
Although surgery is the most effective way to treat and remove gynecomastia, there are still many physicians who prescribe medications for gynecomastia.
Many medications have been prescribed to treat gynecomastia including Tamoxifen, Aromatase Inhibitors and Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs)
- Tamoxifen: Tamoxifen is an estrogen blocker commonly prescribed to women with breast cancer. If used to treat gynecomastia it is often given chronically. Many patients report that tamoxifen does not remove gynecomastia that is already present. Chronic tamoxifen use is associated with many side effects including potentially fatal blood clots.
- Aromatase inhibitors: Aromatase inhibitors also block the production of estrogen. Like Tamoxifen they are given female breast cancer drugs which patients use to treat or prevent gynecomastia. Many patients report minimal if any benefit from aromatase inhibitors in removing gynecomastia. Aromatase inhibitors are also associated with potentially fatal blood clots.
- Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) work like anabolic steroids and work to mimic the effects of testosterone in the body. Many patients use SARMS as an alternative to anabolic steroids thinking they are safer. SARMS have many side effects including the formation of gynecomastia, damage to the liver, reduction in libido, and the inhibition of normal testosterone production. SARMS are prohibited in sports much like anabolic steroids.
Dallas, TX Gyno Surgery
Gynecomastia after steroid use can leave you with many regrets and concerns, but it is not a condition you have to live with. Liposuction, breast tissue removal, nipple repositioning, and chest contouring can all restore your natural more masculine-appearing chest. Incisions can often be camouflaged in order to minimize visible scarring.
As one of the most sought-after plastic surgeons in Texas, Dr. Azouz is highly experienced in treating Gynecomastia after steroid use. Dr. Azouz has many decades of experience in restoring form and function with natural-looking results. Contact Azouz Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery today for a consultation.