Gynecomastia, Body Builders, and Performance Enhancing Drugs. Body builders have almost no fat or excess skin, and therefore gynecomastia surgery takes a different approach than men with “true gynecomastia.” Their chest muscles are highly developed with increased blood flow, and therefore they have a higher risk of bleeding complications. All patients are warned to stop taking blood thinners before surgery and body builders need to be aware that they need to stop, protein shakes, fish oil and vitamin E, among many other products.
Developing muscle mass is so important to some men they are willing to take dangerous risks that can severely affect their health. It is illegal to use anabolic steroids for performance enhancement, but body builders have been using them for years. Steroids have many side effects such as lower sperm count, painful erections, impotence, and the development of breasts or gynecomastia.
To block estrogen, many men resort to taking estrogen blockers such as Tamoxifen. Tamoxifen will stop the development of breasts, but there is a price to pay. Tamoxifen is a prescription drug used for cancer treatment of the breasts, and although it is illegal to be prescribed as a performance enhancement drug, men can get it online and through social media. Estrogen blockers come with their own side effects including, leg cramps, hot flashes, blurred vision, depression, and more.
When seeking gynecomastia surgery, many competitive body builders request that their entire breast gland is removed to avoid regrowth of male breasts, allowing them to continue the use of steroids. Dr. Delgado discourages his patients with this practice in order for men to have a more normal looking chest; some breast gland is needed for sculpting and to give the chest natural contours.
Dr. Delgado encourages his patients to stop taking dangerous performance enhancing drugs and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.