Author Topic: My Journey and My Surgery  (Read 6104 times)

Offline TheOregonKid

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Hi everyone,

    I am new to posting on this board but I have been lurking on it for years and really appreciate the wealth of information it has provided me with.  Like most of you, I suffer from gynecomastia and so I empathize with the struggle that you all endure.  My case is mild so I have not endured any ridicule for it but I'm sure that others have noticed when I'm not wearing a compression garment and not said anything.  I know what it means to have diminished confidence and chest obsession because of it.
   I am 29 years old, 6 ft tall and weigh 170 lbs.  My gynecomastia did not emerge during puberty but rather resulted from medication I took when I was 21-22 years old(Zyprexa/Risperdal for my Bipolar disorder).  I discontinued using these drugs after about a year due to severe weight gain (I shot up to 220 lbs) and the onset of my gynecomastia.  Despite losing 50 lbs many years ago, my gynecomastia persists and I have strong suspicion that it is largely glandular(I understand that only surgery can reveal its true pathology).  I would classify my gynecomastia as mild yet more severe than puffy nipples.
    As my 30th birthday nears, I have done a lot of reflection on my life thus far.  One of the things I have thought a lot about is how much my gynecomastia has robbed me of in the realm of confidence and self-esteem.  Despite being good looking, these struggles have been largely detrimental to my demeanor with women despite being confident around my men.  Despite my strong opposition to debt, I made the decision to borrow the money for surgery.  I was approved for a loan at my credit union at a good rate and it was funded on Monday.  I consider the procedure as a gift to myself and an important step towards a richer, fuller life.
    I have contacted the office of a well-respected plastic surgeon in my hometown of Portland, OR and have my initial consultation with her today.  According to her receptionist, she performs approximately 70 gynecomastia surgeries a year and the total cost of surgery for mild to moderate cases is $5000.  I seriously considered flying across the country to have my surgery done by Dr. Bermeant but I can't get the time off of work nor can I afford the significant expense of travel, lodging, car rental, etc.  I have student loans, a mortgage, and other expenses I have to take into consideration when adding to my debt load.
    My primary anxiety regarding the procedure is that I will not be satisfied with the results.  I have student loans, a mortgage, and simply can't afford to spend more on revision surgery.  I considered flying across the country to have it done by Dr. Bermeant but I can't afford the additional cost of plane tickets, hotels, car rentals, etc.  I will scrutinize her before and after pictures tomorrow and seek out another surgeon if I am at all skeptical.  If any of you can suggest a skilled surgeon in Portland I would appreciate it.  Seattle would work too as it is within driving distance and since my father works there during the week I would have a place to stay.
    Unfortunately, my family has been absolutely unsupportive of my decision to borrow money to fund my surgery.  They are extremely financially conservative and believe that debt should not be undertaken for anything other than a home or education.  It's easy to say this when you occupy the top tax bracket like they do and can afford to simply write a check, even for a new car.  What's more, they say my gynecomastia is mild and that surgery would be because of 'vanity.'  All of you know that this is absolutely not the case for 99% of us.  Those of us with gynecomastia simply desire to have a normal, masculine physique and are condition is a source of constant anxiety.  Despite their objections and desire to please them, I have decided to undergo the surgery without telling them.  I don't want to deal with their nagging or rebuke, especially when it's unjustified.  My sister has been supportive and has committed to transport me on the day of my surgery.
   
   Sorry for the length of this post but I wanted to give you all a comprehensive introduction.  Reading others' stories on this board has been highly constructive for me.  I hope that sharing my journey will be beneficial for me and for all of you.  I will post photos tomorrow and will give you an update on my consultation with the surgeon.  As always, your feedback and advice is appreciated.

Thanks,

The Kid

Linkback: https://www.gynecomastia.org/forum/index.php?topic=21680.0
“Whoever despises himself still esteems the despiser within himself” -Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline TheOregonKid

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I will post pictures tomorrow for everyone and keep you updated throughout the process.

-The Kid

DrBermant

  • Guest
Hi everyone,

    I am new to posting on this board but I have been lurking on it for years and really appreciate the wealth of information it has provided me with.  Like most of you, I suffer from gynecomastia and so I empathize with the struggle that you all endure.  My case is mild so I have not endured any ridicule for it but I'm sure that others have noticed when I'm not wearing a compression garment and not said anything.  I know what it means to have diminished confidence and chest obsession because of it.
   I am 29 years old, 6 ft tall and weigh 170 lbs.  My gynecomastia did not emerge during puberty but rather resulted from medication I took when I was 21-22 years old(Zyprexa/Risperdal for my Bipolar disorder).  I discontinued using these drugs after about a year due to severe weight gain (I shot up to 220 lbs) and the onset of my gynecomastia.  Despite losing 50 lbs many years ago, my gynecomastia persists and I have strong suspicion that it is largely glandular(I understand that only surgery can reveal its true pathology).  I would classify my gynecomastia as mild yet more severe than puffy nipples.
    As my 30th birthday nears, I have done a lot of reflection on my life thus far.  One of the things I have thought a lot about is how much my gynecomastia has robbed me of in the realm of confidence and self-esteem.  Despite being good looking, these struggles have been largely detrimental to my demeanor with women despite being confident around my men.  Despite my strong opposition to debt, I made the decision to borrow the money for surgery.  I was approved for a loan at my credit union at a good rate and it was funded on Monday.  I consider the procedure as a gift to myself and an important step towards a richer, fuller life.
    I have contacted the office of a well-respected plastic surgeon in my hometown of Portland, OR and have my initial consultation with her today.  According to her receptionist, she performs approximately 70 gynecomastia surgeries a year and the total cost of surgery for mild to moderate cases is $5000.  I seriously considered flying across the country to have my surgery done by Dr. Bermeant but I can't get the time off of work nor can I afford the significant expense of travel, lodging, car rental, etc.  I have student loans, a mortgage, and other expenses I have to take into consideration when adding to my debt load.
    My primary anxiety regarding the procedure is that I will not be satisfied with the results.  I have student loans, a mortgage, and simply can't afford to spend more on revision surgery.  I considered flying across the country to have it done by Dr. Bermeant but I can't afford the additional cost of plane tickets, hotels, car rentals, etc.  I will scrutinize her before and after pictures tomorrow and seek out another surgeon if I am at all skeptical.  If any of you can suggest a skilled surgeon in Portland I would appreciate it.  Seattle would work too as it is within driving distance and since my father works there during the week I would have a place to stay.
    Unfortunately, my family has been absolutely unsupportive of my decision to borrow money to fund my surgery.  They are extremely financially conservative and believe that debt should not be undertaken for anything other than a home or education.  It's easy to say this when you occupy the top tax bracket like they do and can afford to simply write a check, even for a new car.  What's more, they say my gynecomastia is mild and that surgery would be because of 'vanity.'  All of you know that this is absolutely not the case for 99% of us.  Those of us with gynecomastia simply desire to have a normal, masculine physique and are condition is a source of constant anxiety.  Despite their objections and desire to please them, I have decided to undergo the surgery without telling them.  I don't want to deal with their nagging or rebuke, especially when it's unjustified.  My sister has been supportive and has committed to transport me on the day of my surgery.
   
   Sorry for the length of this post but I wanted to give you all a comprehensive introduction.  Reading others' stories on this board has been highly constructive for me.  I hope that sharing my journey will be beneficial for me and for all of you.  I will post photos tomorrow and will give you an update on my consultation with the surgeon.  As always, your feedback and advice is appreciated.

Thanks,

The Kid

I recently reviewed where our patients were coming from and found there have been quite a few who came from Oregon that part of the country for my gynecomastia surgery. There were actually quite a few requests for help from patients unhappy with surgery done first locally in that region. One of the main points they complained about was the additional time off of work and expenses to do the surgery again.

I posted here in this forum How to pick a Gynecomastia Surgeon:

http://www.gynecomastia.org/smf/index.php?topic=16474.0

Posting Standard Gynecomastia Pictures can help others udnerstand your concerns. After major weight loss, loose skin can also be a factor. Here are my Standard Images for Loose Skin and Drooping Evaluation of the Male Chest. If drooping is a factor, be careful, not all surgeons have the same skills. Look for examples of that type of gynecomastia male chest sculpture to best understand what that surgeon has to offer.

Hope this helps,

Michael Bermant, MD
Learn More About Gynecomastia and Male Breast Reduction

Offline TheOregonKid

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I met with Dr. Kathleen Waldorf today regarding my gyno.  She didn't spend much time with me but was spot on in her knowledge.  She basically echoed everything I learned about gyno over the years.  To my relief, she mentioned crater deformities and her methods for preventing them.  She does 35-40 gyno surgeries annually and her before/after photos looked good.  The price was reasonable, but not great.  It breaks down as follows:

Dr. Fee       $3200
Insurance    $155
Facility Fee $1550
Anasthesia  $819

-$686.50 for "promotional discount"
Minus 3% cash discount

GRAND TOTAL: $5037.50

I put $4000 down today and will pay the rest during my pre-op appointment.  My surgery is scheduled for the 28th of this month!

Offline TheOregonKid

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Here's the pics I promised.  Sorry about the poor quality.  I couldn't find my camera in my messy house so I had to make due with my phone.  They serve well enough to illustrate the extent of my gyno.

Offline Raider Fan

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What about the pain you reported having?  Doctors here have mentioned that pain/tenderness is an indication that the gyne is in an active phase.  They also say it's really best to wait to have the surgery until the pain has subsided and the condition has stabilized.  Otherwise, you run the risk of recurrence (continued glandular growth) following the surgery. 

Did you mention the pain to her?  If so, did she not think it would be best to wait?  If you didn't mention it to her, do you think you should? 

It would be a drag to go through the expense and inconvenience of surgery, and then have the condition come right back. 

Offline TheOregonKid

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She is confident it is stabilized because she pulled up my full hormonal analysis that my endo ordered last month and he told me everything is "textbook normal," which she confirmed.  She suggested that my fibromyalgia could have something to do with the gyno pain since it has a tendency to afflict more than just my joints/muscles.  In the past it has caused aching in areas near my lymph nodes such as beneath the armpit and on the neck.  She says she has seen it afflict women in the breast tissue as well as the cervical lymph notes(which unfortunately often requires a painful biopsy).  Since I had a flare up of my fibro last week she think it was related.  I'm pretty confident that she is right because when my GP upped my dose of Cymbalta, the gyno pain disappeared with the rest of the pain. What's more, she said that since there hasn't been growth in 8 years that she is 99% sure that it has stabilized.
She told me that she turns away approximately 20% of her gyno consultations because their BMI is too high or because she can't feel breast tissue and wants them to lose more weight to better determine it isn't just pseudo-gynecomastia.  She stated that remedial lipo should be secondary to weight loss and not be pursued simply to accelerate what weight loss could do naturally.  She also encouraged me to get a second opinion from another board certified PS if I was unsure.  I never felt like they were pressuring me in the slightest to proceed forward.

I feel really confident in my decision to pursue surgery.  My GP and psychiatrist both think it would be healthy to move forward for me, so I'm going to trust the doctors.

Offline George Pope, M.D.

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    • Orlando Plastic Surgery Center
It sounds like you found a great plastic surgeon in Dr. Waldorf.  She is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  Also, it sounds like you did your homework and asked all of the right questions.  It also sounds like her answers were right on.

Dr. Mark Jewell is an esteemed plastic surgeon in Eugene, Oregon, and he is a member of our two big national societies as well.  I was going to recommend him to you, as there's no real need to travel out of state with qualified plastic surgeons in your back yard, but you've obviously found a qualified doc.

Best of luck!  You'll be really happy that you did this!

Dr. Pope, MD
George H Pope, MD, FACS
Certified - American Board of Plastic Surgery
Orlando Plastic Surgery Center
www.georgepopemd.com
Phone: 407-857-6261

Offline TheOregonKid

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I went in for my pre-op with Dr. Waldorf on Monday morning.  She was able to spend more time with me this time around and I was extremely impressed by how thorough her practice is.  They have me scheduled for 3 post ops so far at 24-hours, 1 week, and one month.  I believe there is also a 3 or 6 month but naturally they don't schedule that one this early.  My surgery is scheduled for tomorrow at 8:00am. 

WOW...this is it!  I've lived with gyno for years and years and tomorrow it will be gone.  I feel really blessed, a little nervous, and optimistic about my life after gyno.  I already have plans to increase my fitness training once the Dr. gives me the go-ahead because I can't wait to be rockin' my moob-free beach body next summer!!!

Even a couple of years back, I didn't think I would ever have the resources to get my gyno taken care of.  Since then, God has blessed me.  I finished college, got a much higher paying job, and now my surgery is a reality.  I just want to encourage all the dudes out there who feel hopeless....I've been there and, with whard work, life does get better.

I'll keep you guys posted with post-op pics.

PS- Dr. Waldorf is doing laser-assisted lypo on me.  She say that in my case, laser is the best option because it will help with the skin tightening around the newly contoured chest.


 

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