26 May Breast Reduction Surgery Achieves Good Aesthetic Outcomes in Bodybuilders with Gynecomastia
According to American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) member Surgeon Mordcai Blau, MD, breast reduction surgery achieves good aesthetic outcomes in bodybuilders with gynecomastia—enlargement of the male breast.
An expert with extensive experience performing gynecomastia surgery in bodybuilders, Dr. Blau has operated on nearly 1,600 bodybuilders and other patients with “good physique.” His report focuses on 1,073 such patients, followed up for one to five years after surgery.
The men ranged from 18 to 51 years, 15% were competitive bodybuilders and all were free of hormonal or other diseases that can cause gynecomastia. In some cases gynecomastia developed in adolescence and became permanent after steroid use or hormone-containing supplements.
Dr. Blau believes that gynecomastia surgery in bodybuilders calls for a different approach, due to the fact that bodybuilders usually don’t need removal of excess fat or skin unlike other patients who tend to be overweight or obese. However, they do require special attention to prevent bleeding or scarring – this is due to increased blood flow to the highly developed chest muscles. Steroids and unregulated supplements including protein shakes, vitamins, and fish oils may also increase bleeding risk.
Outlining his surgical technique, Dr. Blau highlights the need for complete removal of all breast gland tissue because pathology reports usually show excessive development (hypertrophy) of the gland tissue.
Most patients are “extremely satisfied” with their surgical results, Dr. Blau reports, noting that the vast majority of patients continued to use anabolic steroids. However, because the gland was completely removed, there were no problems with recurrent gynecomastia.
Complications were uncommon and generally minor, with a 6% rate of hematomas, though this problem has become less common after Dr. Blau began providing stricter instructions regarding preoperative and postoperative care: stopping all use of steroids and supplements before surgery, and resuming exercise gradually after surgery.
Dr. Blau believes that plastic surgeons may see increased interest in gynecomastia surgery among bodybuilders and other men with good physique. He suggests that surgeons performing gynecomastia surgery start with simpler cases, before proceeding to the more-challenging demands presented by bodybuilders.