Author Topic: On the fence...  (Read 1599 times)

Offline indestructible

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My body has looked the same for as long as I can remember (I'm 23, now), and I've always been embarrassed, and even ashamed of it. I assume I have gynecomastia, and I've posted pics in the User Photos part of the forum here (it won't let me post a direct link, but it should be one of the first few posts on the second page).

I've known about the surgical option for a while, and I've spent a long time thinking about it (years). I just want to get rid of it, and move on with my life, but I'm still very much on the fence about pursuing this surgery. To a small extent, a part of me is just very uneasy about the idea of surgery, in general. The last time I can remember being under the knife was when I was a child, getting my tonsils out, and it's always made me uneasy. But, again, that's only a small part of it.

My biggest concern, I guess, is the lasting effect of the surgery. The lowest price I've seen for this kind of surgery is around $5000, possibly higher, and the thing is, I don't exactly come from a very wealthy family. I could spring for the surgery, but my concern is how "permanent" this surgery is. I just don't want to drop $5000+ on a surgery that might help for a year or so, only for the problem to return later on. I'd feel like I'd wasted the money, you know?

I'll be honest, regardless of whether or not I get the surgery, I don't expect to change my lifestyle any. Meaning, I don't plan on exercising more, or watching what I eat better. Of course, I don't consider myself to be that unhealthy, to begin with. I'm not so much "overweight" as I am sort of "chubby" and out of shape, but that I'm okay with (the gynecomastia, not so much). My weight typically doesn't massively fluctuate. So, I don't know whether or not this would be a factor.

Anyway, thanks for any input, as I remain on the fence.

Offline Dr. Elliot Jacobs

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I can't answer many of your questions, but can answer just one:  I have not had one patient (who had stable gyne) develop a recurrence of his gyne after surgery.  I have had some guys who actually gained a lot of weight after surgery, and remarkably, their chest enlarged very little as compared to the remainder of their body.

Dr Jacobs
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Certified: American Board of Plastic Surgery
Fellow: American College of Surgeons
Practice sub-specialty in Gynecomastia Surgery
4800 North Federal Highway
Boca Raton, Florida 33431
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Email:  [email protected]
Website:  http://www.gynecomastiasurgery.com
Website:  http://www.gynecomastianewyork.c

Offline indestructible

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Thanks for the information. Also, another thing I'm wondering about is recovery time. If I choose to get the surgery at some point, I would have to make sure to put in for time off from work ahead of time. If I request off more than a couple days, I typically have to give a pretty valid excuse, and I don't think I'd feel comfortable divulging to my employer the actual reason I'd be needing the time off... Also, what about strenuous activities? Typically, my job isn't very strenuous at all, but on occasion, I do have to do some heavy lifting.

Offline Dr. Elliot Jacobs

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On the whole, most guys recover quite rapidly and like many type-A Americans who work hard, are able to return to desk-type work within 2-3 days after surgery.  Some guys are on the phone and on the computer on the day after surgery!

I do recommend no strenuous activities (lifting, etc) for at least a few weeks, to avoid straining the surgical area.

Dr Jacobs

Offline indestructible

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Ah. Yeah, see, I work in retail, so it's hard to predict what kinds of things I'll have to do. A lot of times, it's just a bit of moving around, but occasionally, I do have to move around furniture, cases of paper, etc.

Offline Dr. Elliot Jacobs

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It is not wise to have surgery and then do something that could compromise the final result.

Many guys have surgery and are quickly able to go back to sedentary type of work.  IF heavy lifting is needed in one's job, then it would be wise to put aside several weeks to allow for appropriate healing.  If there is only an occasional need to lift, then perhaps a request to get some help from someone else would be in order.  You can talk about a "pulled chest muscle" or "low back strain" to avoid the need to explain to one's boss.

Dr Jacobs

Offline Litlriki

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Dr. Jacobs has answered your questions nicely.  I agree that recurrence of gynecomastia in cases that develop during puberty is nearly unheard of without some new inciting source, such as medication or hormonal imbalance.  Weight fluctuation, particularly gain, might lead to the need for additional contouring, but proper maintenance of weight would prevent this. 

With regard to getting back to work, I do most of these procedures on Fridays and the patients return to work on Monday, unless they have jobs that require heavy lifting.  For jobs with only occasional lifting needs, it's easy enough to claim an injury or other issue (even "minor surgery"), to avoid lifting for a week or two, particularly when it's an uncommon job requirement. 

Rick Silverman
Dr. Silverman, M.D.
Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery
29 Crafts Street
Suite 370
Newton, MA 02458
617-965-9500
800-785-7860
www.ricksilverman.com
www.gynecomastia-boston.com
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Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

Offline DrPensler

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I would agree that surgical correction of gynecomastia provides a permanent correct.There are a couple of exception for instance if the cause is steroid use and the use continues  also significant weight gain can reverse some of the effects of surgery. Having added the caviots above I would say that surgical correction is highly effective treatment.
Jay M. Pensler,M.D.
680 North Lake Shore Drive
suite 1125
Chicago,Illinois 60611
(312) 642-7777
http://www.gynecomastiachicago.com

 

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