A surgeon has warned tens of thousands of men may need breast reduction surgery as a result of using steroids.
Since 2020, chief of surgery for Signature Clinics, Dr John Skevofilax, has performed over 600 gynaecomastia operations.
He has since revealed that thousands more men may require the surgery because of the growing popularity of steroids - addictive Class C drugs often misused in an attempt to decrease fat and build muscle mass.
Gynaecomastia, often called 'gyno' or 'man boobs' can be caused by obesity, hormone imbalances and puberty, as well as alcohol, cannabis and steroid abuse.
Some men can develop fuller looking breasts, whereas others can end up with just their nipples affected, appearing more swollen.
Despite the many various causes of gynaecomastia, having performed the surgery many hundreds of times, Dr Skevofilax has revealed that over 50 percent of patients he's seen admitted to currently being on image and performance-enhancing drugs (IPEDs).
Despite it being illegal to supply or sell steroids, in the UK, over one million people - predominantly men - are predicted as taking them, according to the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD).
If steroids continue to be used by so many, Dr Skevofilax has warned that many more men are subsequently putting themselves at risk of getting gynaecomastia.
The doctor 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."
Dr Skevofilax acknowledged that some men may be 'comfortable' with having the surgery.
However, he noted 'there will [also] be many who don't because they are embarrassed'.
"And it's these people who will suffer in silence from the physical and emotional damage caused by gynaecomastia," he stated.
Gynaecomastia surgery sees excess breast tissue and fat removed typically using liposuction. It is normally performed under local anaesthetic.
The operation typically takes one-and-a-half hours and requires an overnight stay in hospital.
"Male breast reduction surgery is not usually available on the NHS. You'll probably need to pay to have it done privately," the NHS' website states.
The cost of male breast reduction surgery ranges from around £3,500-£5,000 in the UK, not including any additional prices of appointments.
The NHS site offers advice on where to find surgeons and links to additional support for those with the condition, as well as raising awareness of the possible complications of the surgery.
A bodybuilder named Danny Smith has used his TikTok to raise awareness of the dangers of taking steroids.
Earlier this year, the 27-year-old revealed to followers he had been diagnosed with gynecomastia and would be undergoing surgery.
He's used the platform to document the results before and after his operation, but also to also speak out about the negative impact the condition has had on his mental health.
Former Love Islander Thomas Powell also livestreamed his surgery to raise awareness.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy