Surgeon claims thousands of men will need breast reductions due to steroids

A surgeon has shared a warning that tens of thousands of men may need breast reduction surgery due to steroid use.

Since 2020, chief of surgery for Signature Clinics, Dr John Skevofilax, has performed more than 600 gynaecomastia operations.

He has since said that thousands more men may require the surgery because of the growing popularity of steroids.

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These addictive Class C drugs are often misused in an attempt to decrease fat and build muscle mass.

Gynaecomastia, which is often called 'gyno' or 'man boobs' can be caused by obesity, hormone imbalances and puberty, along with alcohol, cannabis and steroid abuse.

It can result in some men developing fuller looking breasts, whereas others can end up with just their nipples affected, with them appearing more swollen.

Despite various things causing gynaecomastia, having performed the surgery many hundreds of times, Dr Skevofilax said that more than 50% of patients he's seen have admitted to currently being on image and performance-enhancing drugs (IPEDs).

Although it is illegal to supply or sell steroids, in the UK, more than one million people – mainly men – are predicted as taking them, according to the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD).

Dr Skevofilax said that if steroids continue to be used by so many, then a lot more men are putting themselves at risk of getting gynaecomastia.

The expert told Sky News: "Tens of thousands of men are at risk of getting gynaecomastia because they are taking IPEDS.

"Many don't seek any advice before starting taking them, and the link between these drugs and this condition is well known."

The doctor acknowledged that some men may be 'comfortable' with having the surgery.

However, he said "there will [also] be many who don't because they are embarrassed".

He added: "And it's these people who will suffer in silence from the physical and emotional damage caused by gynaecomastia."

Gynaecomastia surgery involves excess breast tissue and fat being removed – typically using liposuction. It is normally performed under local anaesthetic.

The operation usually takes one-and-a-half hours and requires an overnight stay in hospital.

The NHS website states: "Male breast reduction surgery is not usually available on the NHS. You'll probably need to pay to have it done privately."

The cost of male breast reduction surgery ranges from around £3,500-£5,000 in the UK, not including any additional prices of appointments.

If you want friendly, confidential advice about drugs, you can talk to FRANK. You can call 0300 123 6600, text 82111 or contact through their website 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, or livechat from 2pm-6pm any day of the week

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