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Body builder Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is enlarged or overgrown breast tissue in men and is also often known as “man boobs.” Gynecomastia can be a challenging condition for bodybuilders and athletes because it does not respond to weight loss. It is commonly seen in bodybuilders who have used anabolic steroids but can also develop in those who have never used steroids. Often gynecomastia runs in families and some people are genetically sensitive to developing gynecomastia. Many patients report developing “gyno” after having only been exposed to gynecomastia-causing medications or supplements for a short time.

Chest of an athletic man with gyno from bodybuilding.

Why gynecomastia can be particularly bothersome in bodybuilders?

Extra breast tissue can be frustrating and can take away from an otherwise toned and muscular physique, causing discouragement and embarrassment.
Bodybuilders with gynecomastia often put tremendous effort into bodybuilding success, only to have it overshadowed by gyno symptoms. In striving for the absolute best in a masculine physique bodybuilders typically develop large pectoral muscles. The excess breast tissue in the chest means large pectoral muscles sometimes push out the breast tissue making it look even worse. Bodybuilders and former bodybuilders alike report that taking their shirts off is a source of embarrassment. Some patients report not placing at competitions because of the gynecomastia tissue.

Your chest can be corrected with bodybuilder gynecomastia surgery at Azouz Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery with minimally invasive drainless gynecomastia surgery. Scarring is often a sensitive issue for bodybuilders who have to show their chest in competitions and are evaluated by judges. Dr. Azouz’s technique uniquely minimizes visible scarring with his scar camouflage and minimally invasive technique.

How is gynecomastia different in Bodybuilders?

Gynecomastia in patients who have used steroids or gynecomastia-inducing supplements is usually hard, white, and has a “rock-like” feel. Patients who have gynecomastia that forms at puberty is usually less hard and more pliable. In both pubertal gynecomastia and steroid-induced gynecomastia there is often fat trapped between gynecomastia tissue.

Man boob fat removed during gyno gland surgery performed by Dr. Solomon Azouz in Dallas, TX.

Bodybuilding Gyno Signs and Symptoms

Some of the telltale signs of gynecomastia are:

  • An enlarged chest with a history of anabolic steroid use
  • Large or rounded breasts that lack the definition of your other muscles
  • Asymmetrical breasts or nipples
  • Gyno nipples – swollen, puffy or protruding nipples
  • Feeling of rocks or pebbles within the soft tissue of the chest

Symptoms of gynecomastia include:

  • Pain and/or tenderness in the breast, nipple, areola
  • Breast tissue that does not go away despite weight loss
  • Swelling of the breasts

Although it is a common cause, puffy nipples and swollen breasts in bodybuilders do not have to be linked to anabolic steroids. There are other reasons breasts and nipples can swell, and some causes can be very serious. A consultation, full examination, and complete medical history can help Dr. Azouz rule out other causes before scheduling your gynecomastia surgery.

What is the cause of gynecomastia in bodybuilders?

The causes of gynecomastia in bodybuilders and athletes can be complex and multi-factorial. Hormonal imbalances, genetics, and the use of certain medications and anabolic steroids can all contribute to the development of gynecomastia. For many patients, gynecomastia is genetically inherited and can also run in families.

What dietary supplements cause Gynecomastia?

  1. Soy Protein: Soy protein isolate contains phytoestrogens which are plant compounds that can mimic the effects of estrogen leading to breast tissue growth.
  2. DHEA: DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a hormone supplement that can also increase the levels of estrogen, leading to gynecomastia or breast tissue growth.
  3. Androstenedione: Androstenedione is a prohormone that can be converted into testosterone or estrogen in the body which can lead to breast tissue growth in men.
  4. Anabolic Steroids: Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of testosterone that are often used by bodybuilders and athletes to increase muscle mass and performance. Steroids can lead to increased estrogen levels and gynecomastia.
  5. Testosterone Replacement Therapy: Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is synthetic testosterone to treat low testosterone levels. While it can be effective in treating low testosterone, it can increase estrogen levels leading to gynecomastia in some men.
  6. Creatine: Some studies have suggested that it may increase the risk of gynecomastia by causing changes in hormone levels.

Why can over the counter supplements can cause gynecomastia?

Over-the-counter supplements meant to increase testosterone, energy, and libido can be manufactured by non-approved manufacturers and can include synthetic steroids, testosterone, or estrogens that can contribute to gynecomastia. Even protein supplements have been shown to be laced with chemicals known to cause gynecomastia.

What are the treatment options of gynecomastia in bodybuilders?

Once gynecomastia is present the best treatment is surgical excision usually with liposuction.

An athletic man doing doing machine chest fly exercises at the gym.

When can you get back to bodybuilding after gynecomastia surgery?

During your follow-up appointment, Dr. Azouz will let you know which exercises you can return to. By six weeks the majority of patients can return to all of their intense chest workouts including bench presses, push-ups, and pull-ups.

Gynecomastia Care in Dallas, TX

You do not have to live with gynecomastia. Gynecomastia surgery at Azouz Plastic Surgery can help you regain your self-confidence. Dr. Azouz is able to remove excess fat and breast tissue to create a more contour chest and correct asymmetry. This procedure is all performed through a small camouflaged incision.
It is important to choose a qualified plastic surgeon who has experience treating gynecomastia in athletes and bodybuilders. Dallas plastic surgeon Dr. Azouz will work with you to create a customized treatment plan that takes into account your specific needs and goals.

The plastic surgeons at Azouz Plastic Surgery are board certified and have treated many bodybuilders with gynecomastia. They have decades of experience treating gynecomastia and the results of surgery are usually associated with extremely high levels of patient satisfaction. With in-person and virtual consultations available, you can access his highly sought-after skills from anywhere. Book your consultation with Azouz Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery today and take back the body you have worked so hard to build.

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