It is not necessarily easy to find a qualified gynecomastia surgeon you can absolutely trust with your procedure. In fact, if you don’t live in a large metro area like Los Angeles, Boston or New York, a gynecomastia expert can be hard to come by.
Why is this? Think about the numbers. Although more and more men are getting rid of their man boobs through male breast reduction, according to both the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the numbers are relatively small compared to other forms of cosmetic surgery (27,000 to 30,000 per year, depending on which organization’s statistics you favor). Contrast that with the number of breast augmentations at about 300,000 and liposuction at nearly 400,000—you can see where the volume is.
Another factor is that achieving great outcomes for gynecomastia patients is not a slam-dunk. No plastic surgeon will tell you any procedure is easy, and that’s true. But some are more straightforward than others. Man boob surgery requires a great deal of knowledge and experience about the nature of fat tissue, gland and skin, including the darker skin of the areolas and nipples. A surgeon has to know how much gland to remove and how to sculpt fat into a thin, smooth layer for the best possible male contours. He or she also needs to anticipate what kind of scarring is likely. Gynecomastia surgery is the perfect poster child for the notion that plastic surgery is “a blend of art and science.”
Here are five attributes you should have on your list to ensure you find the right plastic surgeon to work with:
1) Your surgeon must be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Certification by this organization is the gold standard—ensuring that your doctor has education and training specifically in the field of plastic surgery and has passed advanced written and oral exams.
2) A top-notch man boob surgeon will be able to tell you why he or she has a special interest in gynecomastia. Perhaps they have personal experience with the condition. Maybe they are a fan of bodybuilding—a field where you’ll find lots of participants with moobs or puffy nipples. Ask about this. Since the procedure numbers are relatively low across the spectrum of cosmetic surgeries, it takes special interest to get the experience with gynecomastia you’ll want your plastic surgeon to have
3) You should be hear numbers and more numbers from your surgeon. Inquire about when they got started treating men with enlarged breasts. How many cases do they treat annually? What are the ages of the youngest and oldest patients they’ve worked with?
4) Your plastic surgeon should have a public reputation for performing male breast reduction. A first good sign is that they give the procedure a healthy amount of attention online, including basic website information, blog posts and more. It’s even better if your doctor has developed a following in the media as a go-to expert on man boobs.
5) Be sure you can see before and after gynecomastia photos of patients like you. If it’s your plastic surgeon’s policy not to make images public, they should apply this rule across the board, not just for certain procedures (and know that HIPAA privacy regulations do not mandate this—you just can’t expose details such as names of patients). You should at least be able to see dozens of before and after man boobs photos in the office.
When you think about the relatively small numbers of gynecomastia surgeries compared with other forms of cosmetic surgery, plus the challenges of the procedure, it’s really no wonder that it can take some time to find a great man boob surgeon. Let us assure you—the effort is worthwhile. It also can make sense to travel to another city to work with the doctor you choose. Patients from all over the world have traveled to entrust us with their case of gynecomastia here in New York. If you would like to explore this possibility, send us a quick email and we can start a discussion about how we can support you.
Reach out to Dr. Jacobs today to schedule your consultation!