Author Topic: The beginning of the end - 2 months post op  (Read 8985 times)

Offline Z31T

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Hi everyone, it seems alot of people post here about just one segment of their experience with gynecomastia, such as living with it before surgery, or after surgery. I currently still have the condition, and I have scheduled a consultation with a doctor which is hopefully a stepping stone to surgery in the near future. That being said, I'm posting now because I want to document as best I can every aspect of the condition that I have experienced as well as the process of removing it from my life. I will be posting as time goes on, without the benefit of hindsight, in hopes that people can relate to or learn from my experience.

Anyway, like I said, I currently have gynecomastia in the form of puffy nipples. I'm not trying to say one type is worse than the other but it seems us slender guys with puffy nipples get alot of slack about how its no big deal. They are very noticeable on guys like me because they just look so out of place. The physical aspects aside, I'm sure the psychological effects are something we can all agree on, but I'll get to that in a bit.

I first started noticing my gynecomastia I would say when I was 13 or 14 (I'm 19 now). I didn't think much of it at the time because I had read about the whole puberty thing, and I wasn't worried about it. It didn't truly affect me socially and psychologically until high school. I even remember being in middle school and having a girl I didn't particularly like say to me simply, "nice man boobs." I didn't care at the time, so my immediate response was: "Thanks, you too." It never bothered me and to this day I still laugh to myself about that. And then there was high school. This is where I really began to be conscious about my chest. I new something wasn't quite right. I found myself looking in the mirror much more often from all angles scrutinizing and trying to accept my chest and convince myself that it didn't bother me. I began wearing nothing but dark shirts and sweatshirts whenever it was even borderline appropriate. My social life never existed in high school, I fear because of the gynecomastia. I had a few close friends, who I loved to hang out with and talk to, but my chest still left me self conscious even in those situations. I don't even need to say I avoided the beach and the pool all those years. Even the wind was an enemy. I didn't even know what gynecomastia was until I was a senior; I thought I had just been dealt a sh**ty hand of cards because it seemed nobody else was plagued with this. In the end, it left me feeling unconfident and socially awkward throughout my highschool years. I know that's not who I truly am inside, because I have the ability to be myself when I know that my chest is not a factor.

Another thing gynecomastia has affected is my relationship with my girlfriend. Its swung me in and out of confidence with her more times then I care to admit and to be honest I sometimes can't believe she's still here. Needless to say I've never gotten really intimate with her, i.e. I've never taken my shirt off in front of her. This particular situation applies to the present, so after reading on you'll understand why my confidence has significantly boosted with her, however I am still reluctantly unable to whip my shirt off and give her a good time :D ..for the time being anyway.

So once I schooled myself up on gynecomastia, I of course got into working out and eating better to see if I could change anything. Of course this was to no avail, as is the case with most slender guys. I sort of blew off the idea of surgery for a while, because I figured I just needed to be more active, since I was quite aware that I should be anyway. Obviously nothing changed, and working out, focusing alot on my chest (which for those reading this is NOT the best idea..) just made the gynecomastia more prominent and distinguishable from my chest muscle. Finally I came to the point where I decided that I wanted to get the surgery. I have a job, a car, and some cash in the bank, but not nearly enough to afford the operation. I also knew that this would be pretty much impossible without letting my parents in on my condition, which I had not done, or anyone else for that matter.

I've seen alot of people ask about this on this site, so here's how I told my parents. I know it takes alot of guts and alot of will to do this, because the emotional and self image scars run very deep, but if you're in my situation, its best. At the point that I was ready to confide in my parents I had gathered basic and important information on gynecomastia and its effects on men of all ages. I had also emailed and received detailed replies from a couple doctors. I took this information, including maybe a paragraph about that gynecomastia physically is, and probably a page and a half dealing with its psychological impacts. On a separate page I had a paragraph of information explaining how gynecomastia was resolved, aka that i needed surgery. So once I worked up the courage to tell my mom I needed to talk about something and sat her down to talk, it took me a solid five minutes to get what I wanted out of my mouth. I told her that this was something that had been bothering me for 5+ years and that it was very embarrassing. At that point I gave her the first paper explaining gynecomastia and its psychological effects. After that, I gave her the one explaining that surgery is my only option, followed by the emails from the doctors. I figured it would be alot easier to put everything on paper rather than try to explain it, which seems to be the preferred choice among guys here. She was extremely supportive, given that I teared up significantly throughout the process. She offered to cover the surgery, but I said I would contribute what I could. She also told me should would take care of telling my dad, which I was thankful for. It turned out that he was supportive as well, but I still couldn't look him in the eye for a week, I guess just a man to man sort of thing.

From that point its just been a waiting game, as I have a consultation scheduled in less than two weeks from now. I can tell you that my emotions have changed alot since knowing that I'm on the road to a new life. I'm alot more socially confident with myself but on the other hand I notice my gynecomastia even more now, probably because now there is no subconscious mental strive to accept it and tell myself to live with it. My mood does swing in and out occasionally from day to day, but overall I know its not that long to wait. I know its the beginning of the end

Like I said over the coming weeks I will update this thread with my progress in the journey that lots of you have taken, are taking, or are hoping to take. Anyway if you made it this far, thanks for reading! I'll will post pictures soon as well.    

Linkback: https://www.gynecomastia.org/forum/index.php?topic=25451.0
« Last Edit: August 25, 2012, 09:21:04 AM by Z31T »

Offline George Pope, M.D.

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That's a great story; thanks for sharing it on this site.  Congratulations on mustering up the courage to take the  initial step of sharing this with your parents. I know that's really tough for a lot of young men, but as a parent myself, I think it's very important that young men have their parents' support through this endeavor.  And now you know this will all be resolved in the near future. 

Stories like yours and so many other men's here are the reason I have such an interest in this type of surgery. The psychological impact of gynecomastia on men of any age is significant and very sad, and a successful surgical outcome can literally change one's life overnight.  I don't see that same impact in a female breast augmentation case.  Women in my practice who undergo breast augmentation are very excited and very happy after surgery, but they haven't suffered the embarrassment and anxiety that gynecomastia patients have. It's just not the same.

Please post some photos and keep the group here informed of your progress.  And good luck to you-

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 Z31T

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Thanks for the reply Dr. Pope. I wanted to be very detailed on telling my parents because it seems like alot of guys ask about that or try to avoid doing it altogether. It's always for the better, but it is without doubt a hard thing to do. I will be posting photos soon and hopefully some post-op photos in the near future ;)

Offline Dr. Elliot Jacobs

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Inspirational story -- I wish it would be required reading for many teens and their parents.  Oftentimes, teens are reluctant and embarrassed to speak with their parents -- fearing that they will be rebuffed.  And many parents, despite loving their son, have wrong impressions about gyne -- and are convinced that it will just disappear on its own or can be reduced by appropriate diet and exercise.

As with Dr. Pope, I have seen remarkable transformations of teen boys after surgery -- frequently within days of the operation.  They walk straighter and taller, shoulders back and wear the widest grins you will ever see. 

I do hope your consultation and eventual surgery go well and that soon you will be welcomed to "the other side."

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 Z31T

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Thanks for the kind and hopeful words, Dr. Jacobs

Offline captain chesty

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Thanks for sharing your story, It is well written and makes for a good read. All the best in your consultation and wherever you decide to go from there.

Offline Pearlsnap

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Very well said. I thought it was particularly interesting how you described what you're going thru since you decided to get surgery. I have had the same experience. Since I decided I'm not going to live with this anymore I am less self concious if people on the street or subway can tell I have it because I'm getting rid of it in a couple weeks, but it seems like i've been hyper aware of it since scheduling my consultation.

It's bizarre that in 3 weeks a problem I have had for 15 years, and have probably thought/stressed about every single day, will be gone.

Another way to look at the high cost is that it will be significantly offset by the money I save on clothes. I have half a closet full of shirts that I bought and later decided it wasn't that flattering with gyne.

Good luck to you.   

Offline Z31T

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Thanks for the replies guys. Pearlsnap, I know exactly what you mean, I just dug out a huge bag of old clothes (mostly shirts) that I forgot I had. Can't wait to not have to favor the dark ones with stuff written on them!

Offline Z31T

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Here are some pictures as of now:



« Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 10:08:02 PM by Z31T »

Offline Dr. Elliot Jacobs

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Thanks for the photos.  You are young, slender and have a mild case of gyne with puffy nipples.  No amount of additional weight loss will provide any improvement -- you would require surgery to achieve a flat and contoured chest.

Do your homework and find an experienced gyne surgeon -- what looks like an "easy" case just is not easy.

Dr Jacobs

Offline Z31T

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I had my consultation a few days ago, and everything went great. The doctor said I was a great candidate for surgery, so I'm going for it. Looks like I'll be having it about two weeks from now. It feels so far away even though its only two weeks. Maybe because its hard to believe something that has altered most of my life up until now will be there and then gone when I wake up from the anesthetics. Oh well, I guess its down to a waiting game now, each day feels a little closer.

Offline hitchcock

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I wish you all the best. You should get a great result. Who are you seeing? Please keep us updated.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 02:27:37 PM by hitchcock »

Offline Z31T

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I'm one week away from surgery now. Waiting definitely feels like the hardest part, even though alot has changed emotionally for me just from knowing that I'm going to have the surgery. I'm already more confident with myself and overall happier. But on the other hand, each day closer to my surgery I hate gynecomastia even more. The best way I can describe it is feeling caged in and seeing the key to the lock coming closer and closer, almost taunting. I know there will be feelings of liberation when it's gone, but I can also feel alot of anger built up inside that will have to be let out. Anger that this condition has kept me from doing things I've wanted to do and from the confidence I want, that I will soon be able to do and have. It's been a waiting game for the longest time now and I'm more than ready for that chapter to be over, and to be onto recovery from my surgery. I will update this thread as often as I feel necessary, my goal being for other guys to relate as much as possible to the physical and emotional changes I experience along this journey, or to give others an idea of what to expect. And it truly is a journey, one which I have only just begun.

Offline Z31T

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Oh, and thank you hitchcock, the surgery will be done by Dr. Jacobs. Sorry for not addressing that earlier. As I mentioned, I will update my progress frequently throughout my experience.

Offline Z31T

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I had the surgery yesterday morning, and I am now close to 36 hours post op. I met with the doctor this morning and everything is looking and feeling great for so soon after the operation. I just got home, so I will probably just relax the rest of tonight and tomorrow. I can take the compression vest and dressings off tomorrow and shower, so I will try to post some pics at that time.


 

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