We have great respect for general surgeons, just as we do for other healthcare professionals. These doctors are workhorses in the operating room, performing appendectomies, removing gall bladders, treating bowel issues, repairing hernias, handling injuries and burns and much more. Extensive education and skill are required to become a general surgeon, and it’s a physically and mentally demanding job.
But though we admire what these versatile surgeons can do for so many patients, we don’t recommend that you choose one to perform male breast reduction surgery. If you should go this route, it’s quite possible you will be disappointed with the outcome.
It’s not that general surgeons aren’t well trained – they are. But plastic surgery is not a matter of removing or repairing. Many plastic surgery procedures are quite complex, and today’s patients, particularly those with man boobs, seek masculine contours and natural looking results that take special skill and experience to achieve. Board certified plastic surgeons undergo years of focused training and a rigorous evaluation process to become specialists in their field so they can live up to patients’ expectations. Those who perform gynecomastia surgery frequently have even more specialized expertise.
So why would a guy turn to a general surgeon to treat gynecomastia?
Occasionally patients end up seeing a general surgeon based on a referral from their primary care physician. This was the case with Nick, a guy who eventually came to us for revision surgery. Nick did not realize how many resources are available online and much there is to know about man boobs, or he might have made a different decision about his initial surgery. (Unfortunately, we find primary care physicians often lack information as well.) A contributing factor was that insurance paid for Nick’s first procedure.
This is the other reason men may go with a general surgeon: insurance coverage. In the rare instance that a company will cover gynecomastia surgery, the patient may be sent to a surgeon the insurance carrier selects. We had a discussion with a member of gynecomastia.org about this very situation a few years ago. Incredibly, the surgeon warned the patient that he might end up with a crater deformity! In these cases, we advise patients to push back on their carrier and try to convince them to allow the procedure to be performed by a plastic surgeon who specializes in gynecomastia surgery.
The old adage “you get what you pay for” is spot on when it comes to plastic surgery. We are aware that without insurance coverage, which is usually the case, man boob surgery is not inexpensive. But making your decisions based on cost alone could very well result in the need for revision surgery, or as in Nick’s case, three procedures. In the worst possible situation, you could end up with a problem that can’t be corrected.
Plastic surgery, including male breast reduction, is not about life or death, but it is about quality of life. And that’s important too. If you’re invested in your quality of life enough to consider cosmetic surgery, choose a reputable, board certified plastic surgeon to do the job.
Reach out to Dr. Jacobs today to schedule your consultation!