We have noticed some fear mongering online about surgical procedures, including male breast reduction. One recent poster on a leading gynecomastia forum cited a study reported on by the Washington Post concluding that medical errors may be the third leading cause of death in the U.S. This forum participant asserted that it’s a “fool’s errand” to go under the knife for cosmetic reasons like man boobs.
Though we can’t comment on the specific study referenced, we do acknowledge that too many errors are made in caring for medical patients in this country, especially in busy hospitals and emergency rooms. And we agree that not everyone should undergo gynecomastia surgery. In New York, we turn away patients for a variety of reasons, some having to do with physical health, some with psychological issues. We also will not operate on a patient who’s not certain the procedure is the right choice.
Having said that, we echo the sentiments of another gentleman who pointed out that many guys looking for information online are seeking support for their surgery, not to be labeled foolish. If you’re one of these men, or if you’re on the fence about whether to go ahead, we offer 10 ways to increase your chances for a great result.
1. Give thought to your strategy for selecting a plastic surgeon. Visit more than one, and don’t make the decision based on fee alone. It’s not unusual for patients to travel to work with the doctor they choose. With male breast reduction, this is very do-able.
2. Make sure your doctor has years of specific training in plastic surgery and is in good standing with his or her peers. The best way to do that is select a surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
3. See that your plastic surgeon has many years of experience with gynecomastia surgery. He or she should have hundreds of cases under their belt, and know that most plastic surgeons do not have this track record. Ask about this during your consultation.
4. Look for evidence of happy patients. Ask to see before and after gynecomastia photos of average guys—in the best case, your doctor will have hundreds of sets to show you. Also consider requesting the chance to talk to a couple of past patients.
5. Find out about your plastic surgeon’s staff. How long have the medical and office professionals been working together? Do they seem to complement each other well and work as a team? Don’t be afraid to ask pointed questions of everyone you meet.
6. Inquire about the surgical facility your doctor uses. It should be an outpatient surgery center or hospital that’s accredited by the Joint Commission, the AAAASF or other reputable organization. You don’t want a quickie liposuction in someone’s office.
7. Consider asking whether IV sedation is an option instead of general anesthesia. Especially if you’re anxious about “going under” or have had a bad experience with general anesthesia, IV or twilight sedation can be a less stressful option with virtually no side effects.
8. Ensure you are in tip-top health. It’s best to be at or near your ideal weight and to pursue good habits such as eating right, exercising and minimizing alcohol consumption. If you smoke, you must agree to stop for at least a period of time so your body can heal (and what a great time to quit altogether!).
9. Be 100% honest with your medical team. If you smoke marijuana or have taken steroids, talk it over with your doctor as these substances can play a role in developing man boobs. Don’t be shy about other topics you know you should bring up—your surgeon will almost certainly not be shocked.
10. Commit to following your doctor’s instructions carefully, both before and after surgery. They are intended to safeguard your health and make recovery smooth. It’s common, for instance, for patients to think they can be active sooner recommended, only to end up with additional swelling. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
In online discussions of the pros and cons of gynecomastia surgery, we’ve also noticed grousing about the form patients sign acknowledging that surgery carries risks and results cannot be guaranteed. Unlike what one guy suggested, however, this is not to provide the plastic surgeon with an “out” if a complication arises. Signing the form ensures that each man understands the importance and possible implications of his decision.
When you think about it, anticipating the way each person may be affected by any kind of treatment is one of the biggest challenges in medicine. From how you might react to a new medication to how fast you’ll heal after surgery—no one can say for sure. The vast majority of doctors will do their very best for you no matter what, whether you need heart surgery, knee replacement or male breast reduction. But you will still need to sign that form.
Generally speaking, assuming you follow our ten steps, you will find man boob surgery is very safe. It does not reach into body cavities, nor does it touch any vital organs. It’s not performed in a big city emergency room, and there’s plenty of time to prepare.
If you choose to work with us in New York for gynecomastia surgery, you will receive the attention of a board certified plastic surgeon with more than three decades of experience treating man boobs and a team that has worked together for years. You will be our sole focus, and it’s most likely we will operate using IV sedation in our fully accredited, modern, spotless surgical suite. We stand by our work—the revision rate for our own patients is near zero.
If you’re in the midst of making decisions, call us at 561-367-9101. We would be glad to have a phone conversation with you, and/or arrange a no obligation consultation in our offices. We are here for you, no matter what you decide.
Reach out to Dr. Jacobs today to schedule your consultation!