Author Topic: another success story  (Read 2423 times)

Offline KyleB

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I found this site last summer shortly before our 17 year old son has his surgery.  I read many of the personal stories and vowed that I would submit my own one day.  We moved our son into his dorm room last week a couple of days after he had his one year post-op check up, so today's the day. 

I don't remember all the medical terminology, so I apologize ahead of time if I sound ignorant.  I'm just a grateful mom sharing our story.

Our son, the oldest of our 5 kids and one of 3 boys, showed the classic swollen nipples symptom when puberty began.  He had been on our neighborhood pool's summer swim team for years and when his body started changing we didn't think much of it.  He apparently did though and thankfully spoke with us about it by saying that one of his friends said that he had had a knot on his chest and that it had had something to do with swimming and had gone away by itself.  That summer it did not and when we went to the Dr. for his physical that year we brought it up and the pediatrician said that it would probably go away before too long.  We love our pediatrician and appreciate the fact that he doesn't overreact to things and recommend unneccessary treatments, so we did try to be patient.  With time the condition became obviously "right-sided."  Our son spent the next couple of years staying covered up.  He is a very self-confident kid and we hated to see the effect this had on him.  At his 16 yr exam we talked about it again and our Dr. said that it might still go away on its own, but that it would be a good idea to see a specialist and he recommended a local plastic surgeon.  So, the process began.

We loved the new Dr. (David Durst in Huntsville, AL).  Our son is tall and thin (at 18 he is 6' and 155 lbs) and athletic.  Dr. Durst helped us all to feel comfortable and treated our son with great respect.  We went to an endocrinologist to rule out anything else causative, and when all results returned normal we discussed Dr. Durst's surgical plan.  The biggest challenge was insurance.  What first came back denied we asked to have reassessed by a physician (at Dr. Durst's rec.).  When the second denial came back, Dr. Durst wrote a letter himself.  This time the surgery was approved for insurance coverage.  I know we kept a copy of the letter Dr. Durst sent BC/BS, but heck if I know where it is now.  I remember that his key argument was in regard to the mental/social affects of gynecomastia.  We couldn't be more grateful for Dr. Durst's support and tenacity.

Because of our son's crazy, active life we ended up scheduling surgery for the week school started.  Turned out that would be the most down-time he could get for recovery.  The surgery took a lot less time than we thought it would (an hour?).  There was no fat to liposuction, just meat!  This was removed through a small incision below the areola.  The artistry part (hurts me to just think about it) was resizing the nipple so that it would match the left side better.  Dr. Durst described it as running a thread around the border of the areola and "cinching" it to make it smaller.

When we were allowed back to recovery our son was in a lot of pain.  If I recall correctly it was a severe burning sensation - where the tissue had been taken away from the underlying muscle??  There was a time period between the surgery medication and when he could receive pain medication.  That was the hardest part.  After he came home that afternoon the recovery went very smoothly.  He did have a drain for several days - yuck.  I remember ice and pain meds, but he was moving carefully the second day.  He did return to school bound up with ace bandages over gauze pads - and the drain in his pocket.  The incision healed quickly as did the drain site (it was held in place by one stitch).  He was still wearing the compression at his 3 wk. check. and for a while after as well, but I know he was playing soccer by mid-October - I just prayed he wouldn't have a contact injury.

The day I saw him playing "skins" in a friendly soccer game after school was a GREAT day.  He had been healed body and soul.  He was so proud to wear a tight shirt and get rid of all the undershirts.  You can tell a slight difference when you look at his chest now (there is faint scarring around the areola and the right nipple is still "puffier" than the left - which really is concave he's so thin), but nothing that he minds at all. 

Thank you to everyone who has written-in to this site.  Your honesty, your warnings, your suggestions - they all helped us to have this success story to write in today.


Offline normexcept

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Thank you too for sharing this uplifting and encouraging story with us.


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