Author Topic: My gyno story: NHS vs Karidis vs Levick (now with pics)  (Read 7318 times)

Offline richardw86

  • Posting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Hey everyone!

I thought I would share my own gyno story. The information and comments on here have been so incredibly helpful that I felt I just had to share my own experiences for those at the beginning of their journey to a life free of gyno!

Here is just a bit of background!

I first visited my GP when I was just 13 years old. I had hit puberty hard and had developed puffy nipples that ached all the time. Not only did they hurt but I felt really self conscious, especially in the rugby changing rooms. As if a teenager trying to fit in doesn't have enough to deal with already!!! I had gone through a major growth spurt so was very lanky/skinny with nipples that looked totally out of proportion! At the time my GP described them as "breast buds", reassured me that it happens to lots of boys my age and would go away with time once my hormones had levelled out.

Needless to say that didn't happen and so I went through my teens and early twenties wearing loose tshirts and dreading summer holidays! This was compounded by the fact that I was always fairly skinny and totally lacking in chest hair that might have disguised the issue!

It wasnt till I was 23 that I had the balls to discuss it with my parents and tell them that I wanted to do something about it. My father, a vascular surgeon in scotland, arranged for me to see one of his friends a breast consultant. Considering that gyno on the NHS is highly restricted he lay it on thick! He likened gyno surgery to using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut! Not only this but he said that I would likely be left with a scar from my nipple all the way up to my armpit and there was a high chance that blood supply to my nipples would be so disrupted that I risk them becoming necrotic and dying!!!

 In hindsight, and from info from this site, I realised that you really need to see a plastic surgeon to get gyno sorted. Plus I can help but feel that maybe my father had asked the consultant to try to put me off.

Anyway this did put me off for another couple of years. However I just could not live the rest of my life covering up my chest!

I again approached my GP several times who eventually referred me to plastics, however the referral was rejected point blank because the NHS requires a minimum of "500 grams of excess tissue per breast" to be considered for surgery...another brick wall!!!

The NHS was my only option at the time as I just didn't have the money to go private. So I spoke to my father again who got me to see a consultant plastic surgeon. The surgeon was very understanding however he did explain that because he only does NHS work he didn't have as much experience dealing with gyno that would require a more subtle touch. He also explained that in order to qualify for surgery I would need to be assessed to confirm that my gyno was causing sufficient psychological distress to warrant surgery!!!

That was in Jan 2013...12 months later I'm still waiting for my assessment...ARGH!!!

So I have been saving up my pennies as it seems this is only going to get sorted by going privately!!!

So in November 2013 (now 27yo) I went to see Alex Karidis in London. I know from here that he gets a good write up and gets good results. However during the consultation I was not getting the good vibes from the guy...I would say that I'm a good judge of character but I wasn't feeling to good about the guy. He reassured me that everything would be perfect post surgery...alarm bells!!! All surgery has risks no matter how good your surgeon is. I pushed him on the issue of complications and he just brushed off my concerns! It is one thing to play down the complications of surgery but it is another to completely disregard them! I felt that the whole set up was way too slick...surgery is a massive decision not to be made rashly...it was as if I was just another guy in a plastic surgery production line. Plus I couldn't be sure that if anything did go wrong that Karidis wouldn't just wash his hand of me.

I may well be wrong and I'm sure many will disagree with me but that is just my personal feeling on the subject. Please don't troll me Karidis fans!!!

Anyway I now have a consultation with Paul Levick in two days who I hear is a very personable and understanding man!

I will keep you guys updated on how it goes and if I decide to go ahead with surgery!

Will also post some before pics soon.

Wish me luck...the journey continues!

Richard

Linkback: https://www.gynecomastia.org/forum/index.php?topic=28895.0
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 02:34:52 PM by richardw86 »

Offline Delivered

  • Posting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 28
Thanks for sharing. All the best.

Offline sjwsjw

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 250
I had surgery with Karadis around 14 months ago. He didn't say to me that nothing could go wrong. Never mind I'm not hear to push him on you or anything.

The choice of your surgeon and the decision to even have surgery is a very personal one so I say do what's comfortable and right for you, that's what I did.

GL with the consultation with Levick.

Offline sjwsjw

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 250
With regards to the NHS I don't think they have many/any(?) surgeons that have carried out multiple gyno procedures consistently to a good aesthetic result.

If the option of a plastic surgeon is financially an option to you I would recommend it over the NHS. This is with you for life and moobs to a distorted chest isn't a great trade.

The NHS surgeon could be great don't get me wrong, it just feels like much more of a gamble even if money is tight.

Offline richardw86

  • Posting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10
So I had my consultation with Mr Levick yesterday.

I must say that of all the consultants I have seen he is by far the most down to earth and empathetic of them all!

He uses a different technique to everyone else I have spoken to. He goes in through the armpit via a 1cm incision. After injecting the whole are with liposuction fluid (a mix of bodily salts, adrenalin and lidocaine) he uses a liposuction cannula to remove any excess fatty tissue and help separate the glandular tissue from the muscle underneath and skin above. He then makes an incision through the milk ducts separating the glandular tissue from the underside of the nipple. he then removes the glandular tissue through the incision in the armpit. Instead of using drains he uses a new technique spraying the cavity with a fibrin protein "glue" before applying pressure, thus promoting the clotting of any damaged blood vessels - reducing post operative bleeding- and helping to "stick everything down". He then stitches up the armpit incision and thats you done!!!

All this means no scars round the nipple and minimises potential disruption/loss of blood supply to the nipple!

I felt far more comfortable with Levick than I did with Karidis. Karidis's clinic was all shiny, slick and modern...like a posh hair salon! Levick's clininc on the other hand was a more traditional setting...far more relaxed and he was happy to talk through everything in depth. Didnt feel like he was watching the clock, we even chatted about things completely unrelated and he took a genuine interest in what I do for a living!

All of the complications that I brought up that I was concerned about were explained in depth - why/how they happen, how he minimises the risk and what can be done if these complications do arise! Totally different to Karidis who, I felt, shrugged off my concerns :(

Anyway the upshot is that I've booked to have the surgery done in two weeks...can't believe that in a few weeks I will be gyno free!

P.S. Will make sure I take some before pics this week!

Offline Expatlad

  • Posting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Hi mate!!

I also experienced a similar encounter with Dr. Karidis and I've never even met him face to face?? I currently work abroad and have been actively trying to find a specialist surgeon in this field for over a year. I sent an email to both Dr Levick and Karidis and got a response the same day direct from Levick! Whereas, it took almost 2 weeks to get a response from Dr. Karidis's patient coordinator?? Naturally I've booked in for the surgery with Levick based on his empathetic feedback and unquestionable level of service.

I fly back tomorrow and have the op on Wednesday which must be a week before yours?! Gathered, this isn't the cheapest solution however these surgeons are spoken so highly of on this forum that I couldn't resist and will need to take the hit financially for the best results!

Looking forward to the op yet sh*tting myself at the same time!

All the best

Rob

Offline richardw86

  • Posting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Cant believe that my surgery with Paul Levick is only two days away! Its finally starting to feel like a reality and I'm starting to get excited...and a little bit nervous (good nerves only).

So like I mentioned in my earlier posts its time to upload the obligatory "before" pics! I've tried to take as many as possible from as many angles as I could manage but it was a bit tricky doing it on my own! Hopefully this will give as many points of comparison for the "after" pictures.

In a weird way I have become so used to them being there that I haven't really looked at them properly for a long time. After loading the pics onto my laptop I had a really good look and it really helped settle my nerves about thursday's operation. I was a really cathartic process and I wish I had done it sooner...look the problem straight in the face instead trying to avoid it for the last 14 years!!!










Offline Expatlad

  • Posting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Levick is a LEGEND!!! I had my op with him two weeks ago and i'm very happy with the results so far!! He's such a nice guy and really empathises with you having had the condition himself. I'm sure he'll do a cracking job on yours!

All the best! Shout if you have any concerns prior to your op tomorrow.

Rob


Offline richardw86

  • Posting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Cheers Rob!

Have to get a train at 6am tomorrow...probably wont feel like its actually happening till then!!!

But its great to think that this time tomorrow I will be gyno free...cant wait!!!


 

SMFPacks CMS 1.0.3 © 2020