Author Topic: Time to try surgery!  (Read 2035 times)

Offline andrew85

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Hi guys.

I've been reading through these forums the last few days. The advice and support from everyone here is amazing and it has inspired me to finally get things moving and start down the path of surgery.

I've had my Gynecomastia for the past 13/14 years (now late 20's) and my reasons for wanting the surgery are pretty typical compared to what a lot of others have posted; lack of confidence because of the gyno in public, it would be great to not have to be concerned about what clothes I wear, I'd also love to be able to go swimming again without that self-conscious feeling.

I live in the Berkshire area and haven't yet chosen a place to have the surgery done but I have noticed the names Levick and Karadis used extensively on this site. I'm wondering are there any good resources to find top surgeons in your area or have both Levick and Karadis mainly been promoted by word of mouth?

I probably will go with either Karadis or Levick (the results on show here have been fantastic) but I was just hoping to cover all bases by identifying some surgeons locally for comparison.

I've never had any kind of surgery before so I've been trying everything over the last few years to fix the problem without going under the knife. Now that I have finally decided to get things moving with surgery, I really want to try and get myself organised to have it as soon as possible before I chicken out!

Thanks guys, I really appreciate any help and advice you could provide. I'll be sure to document the entire process including the initial consultations, the surgery and the weeks of recovery, for anyone else who's unsure about taking the plunge.


Linkback: https://www.gynecomastia.org/forum/index.php?topic=28090.0

Offline jamie10

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Welcome ;)

I think you should go with Levick or Karadis. I just had a consultation with Levick and like him. He is also the most experienced in the UK as far as I know. He even had gyno himself which was treated. Go with one of these guys is my opinion. Unless there is a hidden gem of surgeon more locally (please share this info if so!) I would go with the people who do this 2-3 times per week. It's expensive but it's better to fork out and get the job done well than save a bit and not be happy.

At the moment you could probably get a free consultation with Levick. I had a free one because the BMI hospital where he is based is not charging for some time as far as I know - probably to bring in more potential customers! So you have nothing to lose.

I hope to have surgery in a few months. I was booked in for Thursday but my BMI card application got rejected! Well, I will have to save now....

Best of luck with your decisions!

Offline andrew85

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Thanks for the response Jamie,

I'll contact Levick's office about arranging a consultation (it couldn't hurt to just talk about it). I had a check up with my doctor this morning who pretty much confirmed that surgery is the best course of action and he's going to pass onto me a couple of names locally in the next week or so as well.

He also suggested that I could try taking tamoxifen as a last effort prior to surgery. I've rejected this in the past as I've got a lot of concerns about taking certain medications and the potential side effects. I was just wondering if anyone has any prior experience with tamoxifen and whether it had any real positive impact?

Thanks again guys.

Offline andrew85

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A quick update since last week.

I had a consultation with Levick at the beginning of last week. He was very helpful, answered all my questions and has in general put my mind at ease about having the operation. I'm now booked in for just under 2 weeks from now, I'm not sure if I managed to get a cancellation, but I'm glad it's sooner rather than later. It doesn't quite feel real yet, I'm sure that it'll all hit home as I get closer to the date.

One thing I did forget to ask, which I was hoping someone might be able to help me with. I've already ordered my compression vest. Is it right that I'm meant to start wearing this a week after the operation and will just have the pressure dressing on for that first week? Does this mean that I'll be removing and re-applying this dressing on a daily basis myself when I take showers?

I'll continue to keep the forum updated on my progress and hope to post some 'before' pictures in the next couple of days.

Offline jamie10

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Hey Andrew,

I believe you keep the first compression vest on and try to wash around it in the shower. Sounds bad but I don't think you want to take it off at all until the five days are up. After that you can take it off and switch to the compression vests.

Offline andrew85

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Cheers Jamie,

Tomorrow's the day, I thought it fair that I put up a few pre-op pictures since the before and after shots on this forum really helped me when making my decision.


Offline andrew85

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Well I'm back!

It wasn't too bad at all, the waiting before the surgery got me a bit nervous but you have so many people popping in and out asking questions and doing little tests that the time flies by.

After the operation, the next 12 hours or so were mainly just slipping in and out of sleep, I didn't have a clock near me so no idea of the time of evening and it kind of all blended into one.

It was a bit uncomfortable when I woke up this morning, a bit of pain under my arms but a couple of pain killers fixed that.

Paul Levick was great, very reassuring and we went through a few pictures he took this morning of the results. I'll see if I can get them sent over to post here.

Now I'm feeling a bit knackered and the dressing definitely feels pretty tight, but not in any real pain. Can't wait till next Friday when I can take off the dressing and get my first proper look at the results! :)

Offline Jonny5

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Well done, look forward to hearing how things progress. You almost make it sound easy :)

Offline Donut

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Congrats! Looking forward to following progress!

Offline andrew85

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Hey everyone, sorry for the delay in updating.

I'm 2 weeks to day post surgery! The time hasn't exactly flown by, I really want to be able to stop wearing this vest and just get on with my life now.

I've just read back my previous post from straight after surgery and I probably did make it sound far easier than it was. The build up to the surgery was a bit nerve-racking but did fly by because of the number of people asking questions and doing little tests. It was the evening and night afterwards that were a bit of struggle, mainly just because you're confined to the bed due to the drains and the lack of mobility you have in the top half of your body. I was lucky that I was still really drowsy from the anaesthetic so drifted in and out of sleep otherwise it would have been far more frustrating. (I also learned that daytime tv hasn't gotten any better!)

The removing of the drains wasn't too bad, I had been expecting the worst after reading comments on here but I think I was lucky that mine came out clean and there was no real pain.

I travelled back from Birmingham to Berkshire by train in the morning which again was fine. Following advice from here I'd packed a larger shirt to cover the dressing although it did kind of look like I was wearing shoulder pads! I still didn't have any real mobility in the top half of my body but luckily the train was quiet and I'd already bought all the tickets I needed so I could just walk to my seat and relax for the new 2 hours.

I had the dressing on for about 7 days (I took it off on the Friday morning), it was such a relief when I finally got to take it off. The week was very slow and the dressing very annoying, especially when trying to sleep. There wasn't really much pain as the painkillers were great, but every now and then it just felt very restrictive and I was desperate to remove it.

Taking off the dressing was probably the most painful thing so far! I'd already shaved my chest and armpits before the operation so I dread to think how bad it could've hurt if I hadn't! I had the sticky marks left from the plasters visible on my chest and back for a good 4 days after removing the dressing, it's a right pain to wash off. So I've now been wearing my compression vest for the past week or so.

The results are fantastic, I'm really pleased. I've got  a few shots I took on the day after the dressing came off which I'll try and post tonight or tomorrow. I'm just mentally preparing myself now for the 'roller coaster' everyone talks about for the next few months. Every time I look at my chest in the morning or evening when I take off the compression vest for 15 minutes, if I start to worry or notice things, I just try to picture what my chest was like before and I'm immediately satisfied with the result again.

I'll wrap it up there for the moment, but I'll try and update on regular intervals. Sorry for the very long post, but if anyone has any questions, feel free to ask.

I was wondering though, to those who've had the op, how long did it take for the pain to subside? I still have a bit of pain under my armpits and just below the chest, there is some visible bruising still but that seems to be vanishing as the days go by.


 

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