From plumbers to pizza—online reviews are ubiquitous these days. Everyone uses them to help make choices. Considering the pervasive nature of the internet, it makes sense to do that.
When it comes to choosing a gynecomastia specialist, it also makes sense to give some thought to the information available. When you take time to apply critical thinking and do some extra digging, reviews can be one useful tool in your kit. If you take them at face value without doing more homework, it’s possible to be led astray.
Given that we’ve performed man boob surgery for more than 35 years, we have seen the internet mature as a place for information like this. Here’s some input that may help in your search for a qualified gynecomastia surgeon.
• Simple directory-style sites
WebMD offers a good overview of sites that assign a ranking to doctors based on brief patient reviews. These are of limited value in truly understanding a surgeon’s capabilities, but they might be helpful if you’re just starting your research and want to know who has a practice close to you and so forth.
Take the ratings with a grain of salt—you’ll see that in general, highly ranked doctors are the ones with the most ratings. They may be actively soliciting patient reviews while other physicians don’t pay much attention to this aspect of practicing.
• Sites where reviews are prominent
You may be able to glean a bit more useful information from sites that feature reviews more prominently, such as RealSelf. Here, people tend to write longer summaries of their experience and provide lots of detail.
One thing to keep in mind: people who are happy with their results are sometimes less motivated to write reviews than those who want to blow off steam. Like other plastic surgeons, we occasionally encounter a man boob patient who expects perfection, no matter how much we educate him about realistic expectations. These are sometimes guys who give negative feedback. Be sure to weigh these against the number and content of the positive reviews you find.
• Specialty sites
For men and adolescents with gynecomastia, there’s a specialty site that can be a valuable resource: gynecomastia.org. We spend time answering questions on the site every week, as do other man boob focused plastic surgeons, for South Florida patients as well as guys around the world we will never see in person.
“Oh ho!” you might say. “You have paid to be featured on the site!” Yes, it’s true. We pay for our profile on the gynecomastia.org. But think about this for a moment. According to the Aesthetic Society, the keepers of plastic surgery statistics for decades, there were just under 9,000 gynecomastia surgeries performed last year. This is not a huge pie to split, compared to liposuction (just under 300,000) and breast augmentation (about 250,000), for instance.
For most of our colleagues on the site, and for us as well, man boob surgery is more than a specialty. It’s akin to a calling—we have great interest in helping men and boys with the condition for a variety of reasons. Some of us have had gynecomastia, a few of us are fitness enthusiasts. Many have deep understanding of the effect that growing a pair of breasts can have on a man. That’s why we support the site.
Here are some additional steps to take to get a feel for gynecomastia surgeons you’re considering.
• Evaluate the doctor’s website carefully. Does it indicate that gynecomastia surgery is a real interest, or does the procedure simply get another page among all the others? Are there many before and after gynecomastia photos or just a few?
• Visit your state’s medical board website. Here’s an easy way to find the right one. Man boob patients can enter a surgeon’s name here, then click for more information including legal action. The site isn’t the most modern we’ve seen, but it will let you know if the physician has an active license and whether there are any actions against him or her, even out-of-state actions.
• Schedule more than one consultation. There’s no better way to make comparisons than these in-person visits. Be prepared with questions and take notes. Ask to see photos of guys whose physique is similar to yours, and find out if there might be one or two recent patients you could speak with about their experience.
If you follow these steps, you’re likely to find a gynecomastia specialist you “click” with. But you do need to invest some time in the search—after all, it’s not just a pizza you’re choosing!
We would be delighted to hear from you. Give us a call at 561-367-9101.
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