Author Topic: My unsuccesful surgery experiences  (Read 3058 times)

Offline Kayboob

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I am currently 24 yrs old, and have had gynecomastia since around 13. I decided to post my stories here to maybe better inform others in my shoes about what they're up against and to maybe find good advice myself that I didn't expect to find.

My case is not typical at all, except that it seems to be related to puberty.  I was a skinny boy all growing up and started developing gynecomastia in only my right breast at 13.  It grew slowly until about age 16 by which point it was a b cup in size, while the left breast was still perfectly normal and flat.  The mass under my skin composing my gynecomastia was different than I see it described in most medical articles.  Mine was as hard as a rock where most articles describe it as being soft like a woman's breast.  Additionally, mine brought me pain when any amount of pressure was applied, so things such as playing a guitar with the back of the guitar on my chest would hurt.  It would also occasionally hurt on its own, as a slight pinching.

I was a reasonably active student involved in wrestling and track.  I avoided swimming and tight clothing, and when I showered after practice at school I just pretended like it wasn't there, never paid attention to whether or not anybody was looking.  But outside of being shirtless, I often walked with my back slightly hunched so that it wouldn't protrude and be visible from under my shirt. Ah to stand up straight in public, I can only imagine how good it must feel.

In 2007 after two years of college, my dad decided to get surgery for it.  We consulted with a local plastic surgeon by the name of Andrew Mandery on the kinds of surgical procedures available and likelyhood of insurance coverage.  He said there are two procedure options.  Liposuction- with two holes for the tubes one one the side of my breast closest my armpit and the other on the bottom. And what I believe was called mastectomy with a semicircle cut around the edge of the nipple to directly cut out the tissue. He said lipo would not be covered and mastectomy may or may not be.  He also said that lipo leaves less visible scarring than mastectomy. My dad wanted to get the best results and opted for the lipo with a $3,000 price tag. 

The surgery was done under anesthesia and took several hours for them to suck out what they did. When I was told the amount they removed it was given to me in liquid volume units (cc).  I said nothing but was wondering to myself how this painful brick inside of me could have been converted into liquid.  I was weak during the recovery, even nauseous at times and when I removed the compression bandage wrap a week later my chest was very bruised all over, my breast still protruded, and there was a divot above my gynecomastia where the hard tissue had never even been in the first place.  They had apparently decided it was taking too long to break the rock and suct it out that they went for my adipose tissue (fat) all the way to my muscle, which explains the liquid measurement units.  The divot indicates a spot where there is virtually nothing between my muscle and my skin, it's as thin as paper.  Luckily the divot isn't very large and with my arms at my side or in front, it isn't noticable.

We went back to see the doctor for a checkup a month later and he said they didn't accomplish what they set out to and since my dad paid $3,000 out of pocket or it he would perform another surgery in his office free of charge.  Doing it in his office meant that there was no hospital staff or anesthesiologist, just local anesthetic injection, one assistant, and a mastectomy. During the procedure he was having a hard time and said "No wonder we had such a hard time liposucting." After that procedure, I wasn't weak or nauseous which indicates that my body didn't miss the gynecomastia tissue removed, it was weak the first time due to real damage and losing legitimate body tissue.

However, even after this second breast reduction, I was still left with  an easily visible lump of gynecomstia in my right breast, still hard as a rock, still painful to pressure, still occasional pinching, and a few scars and a divot to boot.  I was supposed to schedule a checkup with the doctor after that but I was not a proactive 19 yr old, and my father wasn't either so the appointment was simply never made and the doctor never got to see the product of failure himself.  That was five years ago and I'm still a back-hunching, loose-shirt-wearing, never-swimming gyne victim dreaming of someday having enough money to find a good surgeon who can make me look normal.

Feel free to ask for additional details.

Linkback: https://www.gynecomastia.org/forum/index.php?topic=25746.0

Offline Dr. Elliot Jacobs

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So sorry to hear about your story.  It serves to emphasize that gyne surgery is not easy and that one should carefully research for the best surgeon possible -- a plastic surgeon with demonstrated interest and experience in gyne surgery.

But for you, all may not be lost.  You should do your research and look for a plastic surgeon who has experience in performing revision gyne surgery.  He may be able to improve your results so that you can feel free to remove your shirt and go swimming again.

Good luck!

Dr Jacobs
Dr. Jacobs 
Certified: American Board of Plastic Surgery
Fellow: American College of Surgeons
Practice sub-specialty in Gynecomastia Surgery
815 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10021
Telephone:  (212) 570-6080
Email:  dr.j@elliotjacobsmd.com
Website:  http://www.gynecomastiasurgery.com
Website:  http://www.gynecomastianewyork.com/revi

Offline Glad2findU

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Sorry to hear about your experiences. I'm 28 years old and going for surgery in 2 months. I have had it since I was a child and as you know, it's been hard. I have been teased and talked about as recently as a year ago. I would like for you to stay positive. I have only recently realised that I can afford this surgery now by travelling to India. I did not know the term gynecomastia until about 2 years ago. I spent most of my life playing sports and exercising to get rid of it. I often gave up and would then get very depressed. Exercise is what gets me through the week and has helped me stay positive. I go to the gym and keep my mp3 player loud and my head down and leave my demons in the gym. Else I go for a run (often at night) when I can wear a shirt that I would never wear in the day. I went out drinking with a group of people about 6 months ago. A friend of mine tends to take his shirt off when he gets drunk. I heard a girl I know ask whether they should ask me to take my shirt off. He replied, by saying no, he doesn't take off his shirt. My friend and I have never discussed my problem. I think the girl was just interested in me and thought that I just have a muscular chest as the rest of my body would suggest. Anyway, that was just another example and to let you know that you are not alone.   

Offline TigerPaws

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Sorry to hear about your experiences. I'm 28 years old and going for surgery in 2 months. I have had it since I was a child and as you know, it's been hard. I have been teased and talked about as recently as a year ago. I would like for you to stay positive. I have only recently realised that I can afford this surgery now by travelling to India. I did not know the term gynecomastia until about 2 years ago. I spent most of my life playing sports and exercising to get rid of it. I often gave up and would then get very depressed. Exercise is what gets me through the week and has helped me stay positive. I go to the gym and keep my mp3 player loud and my head down and leave my demons in the gym. Else I go for a run (often at night) when I can wear a shirt that I would never wear in the day. I went out drinking with a group of people about 6 months ago. A friend of mine tends to take his shirt off when he gets drunk. I heard a girl I know ask whether they should ask me to take my shirt off. He replied, by saying no, he doesn't take off his shirt. My friend and I have never discussed my problem. I think the girl was just interested in me and thought that I just have a muscular chest as the rest of my body would suggest. Anyway, that was just another example and to let you know that you are not alone.   
Glad2findU: Please remember the only guarantee you will receive from any surgeon is "There are NO guarantees". Surgery is a crap shoot, a roll of the dice, it could work out well, it could leave you horribly disfigured and it could kill you. So consider your options before jumping to a decision with so many unknown possibilities which could have life long ramifications.

Please read through the stories posted on this forum, there are successes and failures as the one at the beginning of this thread. If you believe that going under a surgeons knife will solve your problems then I wish you well, just remember no one but you can solve the issue in-between your ears. You and only you control how you feel about yourself. If a woman rejects you so what, move on there are many more to choose from, if someone you know makes negative unwanted comments about you tell them that you do not appreciate those comments, stand up for yourself and move on with your life.

Whatever your decision I hope it is successful.

Offline Dr. Elliot Jacobs

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Glad2findU

One caution about going out of the country (India) for your surgery.  Yes, it will probably be cheaper.  However, be aware that it is a completely different country than the US in many ways.  Consider if you need some help or treatment after surgery -- how will that be done if you are back in the US?  And, if something should go very wrong, then you have no recourse, legal or otherwise, to address the problem.

Best advice:  if possible, save your money, research experienced gyne surgeons here in the US and get it done here.

Dr Jacobs

Offline siphon

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"I spent most of my life playing sports and exercising to get rid of it. I often gave up and would then get very depressed. Exercise is what gets me through the week and has helped me stay positive. I go to the gym and keep my mp3 player loud and my head down and leave my demons in the gym. Else I go for a run (often at night) when I can wear a shirt that I would never wear in the day."

definitely true for me as well G2FU

Offline Paa_Paw

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Since the name of the surgeon was given, I looked him up. He is indeed a plastic surgeon. his specialties are reconstruction of the hand and surgery of the head and neck.

Years ago when I had an accident with a chain saw, I had need of just such a specialist and I have full use of the injured hand as a result. I have no reason to believe to believe this surgeon is any less capable than the man who did an excellent job for me many years ago. The problem is that people do get into sub specialties. Why did this person go to a surgeon who does reconstructive surgery on hands for a totally different procedure?

Usually you get to choose your surgeon. The ultimate choice is yours so you must accept some responsibility if you made the wrong choice.

What Dr. Elliot Jacobs said about selecting a surgeon with a demonstrated special interest in the kind of surgery you want is absolutely true. That same admonition has been repeated many times in these pages. How could we possibly be more clear?
Grandpa Dan

Offline Glad2findU

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Thanks everyone for your input to my reply. Although the concerns raised have crossed my mind, I don't think I focused enough attention on them. I think this is because I have been staying positive by avoiding these issues in my mind. I have been kept up at night by picturing the procedure before bed. Thanks for the check. I will keep everyone posted and try and put up some pics and inform you of my experience.   

Offline siphon

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G2FU, my first surgery was done by a hand reconstructive surgeon, and though it seemed like he knew what he was doing (plus it was free and covered by my province) the results were far from what i expected. no compression was advised, and i think this was the reason for the biggest let down. i've since educated myself in this surgery and hope to make a better decision next time around.

i sincerely wish you a happy outcome, whatever avenue you choose.


 

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