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Bodybuilding Gynecomastia

Article care of

My Experience With Gyno Surgery

This article is an account of my own personal experience with gyno surgery. It is intended to be a reference for those who are considering the procedure or just want to learn more about it.

Gynocomastia is the formal name for the swelling and formation of male breast tissue. This condition is often referred to on the street as "bitch tits" or "gyno". The primary cause for gyno in athletes is from the partial conversion of excess testosterone (steroids) to the female sex hormone, estrogen. The process of how the body does this conversion is called aromatization. It usually occurs from the use of strong androgenic compounds or various injectable testoterones. How much aromatization a bodybuilder experiences is largely a factor of genetics. There are those who won't get it despite taking heavy dosages of strong steroids. On the other hand, there are those who will get it very easily, even with very small dosages.

I decided to go with a local plastic surgeon since that would be the most convenient. After calling several different plastic surgery centers, I finally found a doctor that could see me within a week. Most were booked up solid for months. There was minor paperwork to fill out in the waiting room on my first visit. It was basically a series of questioinaires that asked the same questions over and over to make sure you don't have some serious condition that the doctor should know about before surgery. I met the doctor shortly after the paperwork was finished and showed him my condition. He poked and felt it for a few seconds, and then said "Sure, I can take that out for you with no problem at all. All I have to do is make a small incision at the bottom of the nipple in order to take the excess tissue out. We'll put a temporary drain tube in that will get rid of any excess blood and a skin tight vest to control the swelling. I'll have my nurse come in here with the price sheet in a few minutes." I couldn't believe it. I thought to myself, "Is this it?". Sure enough, within minutes the nurse came in and told me what the charge would be. Since I only had gyno on one side, she said it would be about $2700. The initial visit was on a Thursday and I scheduled to have the surgery done on the next Tuesday. The only thing I had to do was get two prescriptions filled that the nurse gave me. One was for pain and the other was an antibiotic to fight infection.

They told me to be there about an hour before the surgery to get "prepared". I didn't have a clue what that meant. The surgery was scheduled for 8am and I got there at 7 sharp. All they did was take my blood pressure, prick my finger for a small blood test, and put me in some goofy looking robe. That took all of five minutes. I then sat in the lounge for the next 55 minues watching CNN headline news. While watching the news, the guy who was in charge of anethesia came in and told me basically that he was going to inject me with some stuff through an I.V. that was going to put me to sleep. He also said that the medication could burn pretty bad at first as it goes up my arm. At 8:00 sharp I was taken into the operating room and had my arms strapped down to the table I was laying on. From talking to other guys who have had this done, they all said they had the I.V. put in through a vein on one of their hands. However, mine was put in through the major vein on the opposite side of my right elbow. The I.V. was no big deal. I don't know what gauge needle they used but it must have been really small because I didn't feel a thing. Within a few minutes they had put a couple different monitors on me to keep track of vital signs. I then saw the guy in charge of anethesia inject some stuff into the I.V. line. Instantly, I felt buzzed and I knew then that it would only be few seconds before I was out of it. I never felt any burn like he had referred to earlier. That's all I remember. When I woke up, I was in the recovery room. It was over.

Upon coming to my senses, I could feel the skin tight vest they had put on me. It was pretty tight. One thing that was really irritating was when I woke up, I was shaking uncontrollably from all that medication they used on me earlier to put me to sleep. They said it was normal so I didn't worry about it. My chest felt really sore but the pain wasn't unbearable or anything like that. I drank some fluids and stayed in the recovery room for about an hour. After that, I got into a wheel chair and they wheeled me out to my wife's car for the trip home. All I wanted to do was sleep. That night the pain started getting worse so I took one of those pain pills and went back to sleep. The first night was the most difficult pain wise. But from then on out it was not that bad at all. My chest was just very sore.

The next day I noticed the drain tube coming out from the bottom of the vest. It was about as big as the cord on your mouse, approx. 1/8" in diameter. The tube went into a small, sealed container that was fastened to the bottom of the vest. The purpose for this is to keep any excess blood or fluids from accumulating under the skin where the surgery was performed. Every few hours we had to measure how much fluid had drained in this container and at the end of each day we had to call the doctor to let him know how many cc's of fluid had drained. It was a little gross at first but I got used to it. After a few days, there was very little fluid, if any, draining into the container. This meant I could get the drain taken out. Without going into too much detail, getting that tube taken out was by far the most painful experience of the whole process. The drain is actually put in through a separate incision made a the very bottom of the chest. I knew I was in trouble when I laid on the table and doctor said, "Ok, this isn't going to be fun." When he pulled that tube out, it felt like he took my chest muscle with it. It was extremely painful to say the least but the pain quickly went away after the tube was out. He zipped up my vest and sent me home.

I took my vest off later that night because I hadn't checked out my chest yet. I hadn't done so earlier because I knew it would be pretty disgusting. It turned out to be worse than I had imagined. My chest was so swollen and bruised, it was almost hard to tell what body part it was. The nipple had stitches in it and looked pretty deformed. I was getting scared. The next day I got the stitches taken out. At that point, I told myself that I wouldn't look at it again for at least another week. The next week rolled around and I peeled the vest away to find that much of the bruising and swelling had disappeared. My chest looked 100% percent better. In fact, it looked really good. I can't tell you how relieved I was to see that my chest was starting to look normal again. I am still wearing this vest right now and hope to have it off permanently by next week. By that time it will have been exactly 4 weeks from the day of the surgery. So if you are thinking about having the procedure done, you might as well plan on not working out for about 4 weeks. Well, that's about it! I hope you've learned a little bit from my experience.

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