Author Topic: Redefinition of Myself...Living, Coping, and Now Making a Change  (Read 1596 times)

Offline misteratl1983

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First I can't say how glad I am that I found this site.  I had no idea there was an Internet 'support' group for this condition.  I developed gynecomastia when I was probably 10 or 11 years old.  I always was conscious of taking my shirt off and would try to get to the locker room first or wait until last to change after gym.  I would always go to the lake or pool and swim with a shirt on.  Friends would tease me, but I would never take the shirt off.  I started to gain weight because I was not active, I did not want to play sports because my chest 'boobs' would bounce up and down when I ran.  I would get depressed.  I would envious when I would go on vacations with friends and we would go to the beach and everyone except me would have their shirts off.  I wished I could walk around without a shirt on and not feel self-conscious.

My parents took me to a doctor when I was about 16, and I was going to have the surgery then but the doctor said I had not finished developing and that it would be best to wait until I reached my early twenties.  Well life happened and time continued to go by.  I found a website where I bought a chest compression under shirt which became my daily crutch.  The shirt reduced the appearance of my chest (and gut) enough that I could cope with my condition wearing loose fitting clothes.

My gynecomastia also adversely affected my dating life, and made it hard for me to really connect with women.  Intimacy was something I avoided and even in those instances kept my shirt on (which always sparked a discussion).

After wearing these undershirts all day, every day, for almost 10 years, I came to the point where it was time to make a change in my life.  I had been in and out of the gym, lost 10lbs here, gained it back, lost 15lbs there, gained it back.  Finally, I said enough was enough.

In February of 2013, I reached my all time weight record of 344lbs.  Granted I am 6'3" and can wear it better than someone not as tall as me, but I was spiraling out of control.  I knew it was time for a change.  I talked to my doctor and explained how the most I could lose was 15lbs through diet and exercise, and that my chest never would get any better with the weight loss an exercise.  He agreed that no amount of weight loss would get rid of my gynecomastia.  He also is not a big fan of 'diet' pills but felt that I was a good test subject for a drug called Phentermine.  Luckily my mother is a Registered Nurse and has been in the medical field for 42 years, so I asked her to do the research and let me know what the possible side effects would be.  Granted, the drug is a ‘psychostimulant’ (appetite suppressant) and is to only be used for a short period of time (<90 days).  The side effects that I have experienced were a dry mouth when I did a lot of talking and some minor insomnia.  The effects are acceptable to me based on the weight loss results.  Understanding that the pill is not the only answer, it was time to make a lifestyle change with what I eat and drink to maintain the weight loss after I come off the pill.  I also have incorporated the gym and a more active lifestyle into my repertoire.

I also decided to see a plastic surgeon regarding my gynecomastia.  My mother works in outpatient surgery for a major hospital here in GA, and has seen many cases performed by Dr. Odyssey.  I set-up a consult with him and a few weeks later was able to get in to have the discussion.  To my surprise, he was very young and very laid back about my situation.  I generally do not like doctors as they always go straight to the negative.  Dr. Odyssey was real, told me that no amount of exercise would fix my gynecomastia and he said we could make this better, and make you feel better about yourself.  That was the biggest relief.  I took my shirt off and he immediately starting shaking his head and nodding up and down.  He was talking to himself under his breath, and looked up and said to me let’s do this and help you begin your life change.  Before I could answer he started talking about what he would do and how it would look when he was done.  He said he would cut away the excess tissue, remove the nipples, resize the nipples, and re-attach them to the correct place on my chest.  He said in my case, some liposuction can be used but the majority will be extraction of the excess tissue.  Having never been under general anesthesia, I voiced my concerns to Dr. Odyssey and he assured me that with the medical advances, I have nothing to worry about.  I said let’s book it, and get it on the calendar.  Since health insurance will not cover ‘cosmetic’ procedures, I asked what the cost was.  His cost was very reasonable and he also let me know the additional costs for the hospital and anesthesiologist.  We set a surgery date of May 3, 2013.  THIS COMING FRIDAY!!!

In preparation of my lifestyle change, I stopped drinking soft drinks all together.  I drink water 99% of the time, with an occasional glass of orange juice in the morning and some alcoholic beverages on the weekends with friends.  I also watched portion control, and focused more on eating healthy to help support the work the pill is doing.  Week 1, I was amazed at the amount of weight I lost.  Now I understand that the first week you loose the water weight from any diet, but I was excited!  I have put the weight progression table below that shows my progress

Weight Progression (Pre-Surgery):
Staring Weight: 344 lbs. (February 2013)
Week 1 – 335 lbs.
Week 2 – 332 lbs.
Week 3 – 329 lbs.
Week 4 – 328 lbs.
Week 5 – 322 lbs.
Week 6 – 320 lbs.
Week 7 – 317 lbs.
Week 9 – 315 lbs.
Week 10 – 316 lbs.
Week 11 – Missed Weigh-In due to Traveling
Week 12 – 311 lbs.

Needless to say, 33lbs in 12 weeks was impressive.  I had my pre-op meeting with Dr. Odyssey this past Friday and he was proud that I had dedicated the effort to make a positive change in my life.  We talked more about the procedure, I got my prescription for the pain medicine, and he answered some more questions about specifics and then it was time to go.

I am trying to post pictures but the site is telling me links are disabled.  When I figure it out I will post pre-op photos.  Unfortunately I did not think about taking pictures before my initial weight loss.

I want to say thank you to everyone on this forum for giving me the courage to openly talk about this and for being a support group for me.  Wish me luck, and I’ll be posting after the drugs wear off and I make it back home.

~j~

Added some before pictures:


Linkback: https://www.gynecomastia.org/forum/index.php?topic=27472.0
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 01:35:29 PM by misteratl1983 »

Offline gynecomastia2009

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All the best brother. You have been through lot of pain just as me.I got operated in 2009.I had the condition for 8 years.Our lives almost reflect each other.

Offline misteratl1983

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Well sorry for the delay, the surgery on Friday went a little longer than expected.  I was under for 3.5hrs.  Dr. Odyssey removed 900cc from one side and 750cc from another.  That's almost 3.5lbs in total!  Here I sit two days later, still trying to wrap my head around the change in my appearance.  I have not seen it without the nipple graph and compression binder on, but just looking down my shirt at what used to stick out is now completely flat.  From the looks, it might be just a hair inverted.  I have my first post-op on Wednesday and I will hopefully get the 'JP' drains removed.  I'll take some post-op pictures when I can.

Also to my surprise, there has been very minimal pain experienced.

hammer

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Congratulations!  I'm very happy for you!

Please keep us posted on your recovery and weight lose! Be sure to follow your post-op instructions carefully as that is important to a full recovery.

Once again congrats!


Bob

Offline misteratl1983

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Well I am ending day 4 after surgery and the drains seem to have done their job.  I weighed myself on Monday and I am down to 305lbs, a total weight loss of 39lbs.  While I feel great about my progress, and I have built up the nerve to take the chest binder off for very limited periods of time, I see that my chest has some depression and the nipples are depressed as well.  I hope during my post-op visit tomorrow that the doctor can shed some light and give me some confidence that we did not overdue the procedure.

Offline misteratl1983

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Ok day 7 after surgery, drains and bolsters over the nipples have been removed.  Here is the first frontal pic post op.

Offline misteratl1983

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Just had my second post-op visit today, had the stitches removed and the nipple graphs took.  I am now medically cleared to resume normal activities.  42lbs down and i'm not done yet!


 

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