A Mother's Surgery Success Story

Thank you Dr. Jacobs

I can never thank Dr. Elliott Jacobs for giving my son back his life. My son had surgery when he was 18 years old to correct his problem with gynecomastia. It all started back when he was about 8 or 9 years old. It appeared that he was starting to get breasts. It wasn't as noticeable to him, so I just never mentioned it. As he was getting older, his friends, and I use this term lightly, started to pinch his nipples, and refer to him as "boob boy". Now my son was getting more aware of the fact that there was something different about his body. I brought this to the attention of his pediatrician, and her comment was that it was nothing but baby fat, and he should go on a diet. It is very difficult to tell a 10 year old that he can't eat what all his friends are, but I did keep a close eye on his diet.

This continued until about 8th grade, however, it really did not seem to bother my son all that much at this time.

Once he got into high school, I noticed that he was now wearing 3 to 4 shirts, even in the heat of the summer. He never took off his top when he went swimming, nor did he attend functions where he would be put in this situation. His friends were becoming more and more ruthless and now in front of all the friends they would call him "boob boy" and the pinching continued. Once again I mentioned this to his pediatrician and she kept saying that he was just over weight. I tried again to monitor his food intake, and we both joined Weight Watchers. This lasted about six months, and he lost 30 lbs. Still, he had breasts, and now they were starting to hang like a woman's. My son was becoming more and more withdrawn and other issues came into play. In his junior year of high school, he developed OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). This really heightened his anxieties and magnified just about everything. The Dr. my son was seeing for his OCD noticed within minutes of his first visit that there was a problem. He took me aside and told me that my son appeared to have what was called gynecomastia, and explained what it was. I began my search to help correct this problem. Again, I told his pediatrician, and she dismissed the problem and said, "I told you he's just fat". I took my son to an endocrinologist, and after some testing, she confirmed that his body made more estrogen than testosterone. I found a plastic surgeon in my area who agreed to do the surgery. At the time, my son was 280 lbs and 5ft 8in. She said that before she would do anything he needed to lose about 50 lbs. He worked furiously and as a junior/senior in high school and also battling OCD, he worked hard. By the end of senior year my son had lost over 60lbs. He still however was wearing the 4 to 5 shirts at a time now because with all the weight lost his breasts were now larger than before. He was devastated, but hopeful because he thought he was going to have this corrective surgery. We went for what we thought was going to be a visit to schedule the surgery; however, it appeared that the plastic surgeon tried to discourage my son. She drew on his chest with black marker where all the scars would be. It would look like he had open heart surgery. My son was devastated and decided he would live with the breasts and not all the scars. He became so withdrawn and put back most of the weight that he had lost. I was at my wits end and wasn't sure what I should do. I went on line and Dr. Jacobs name came up. Then I was given a video from a friend who saw an interview done on 20/20 about Dr. Jacobs. I thought that this must be fate.

I decided after reading about him on the internet, I e-mailed Dr. Jacobs just from his web sight. I was amazed within a few hours I received a personal reply. I couldn't believe that he would take the time to answer me himself, however, questions that were just personal to me were being responded to. I knew this was not just a form. I decided then that I would make the phone call. My first contact was with Kathy, she was so friendly and very willing to accommodate. I scheduled the appointment for two weeks. I was so pleased that I did not initially have to wait an eternity. We went to his Larchmont office because we were coming from Connecticut and that was closer to us. When Dr. Jacobs examined my son, he won him over immediately. He was not pushy, nor was he at all condescending. He seemed to really understand what my son was going through. He even gave a personal account of his own background. My son asked his questions and he was immediately convinced that this was the way to go. Being a parent, I had many questions and concerns after we left the office. I could call and ask my many questions, and I was always treated like I was never bothering them in the office and I was always put at ease.

My son finished his freshman year at college, and when he came home for summer vacation, he scheduled his surgery. He was so excited about what was going to happen to him, yet very apprehensive. Dr. Jacobs always was ready to reassure him. My son did what was asked of him right up to the day of his surgery.

The big day finally arrived. We went to New York City for this. I will never forget those infamous words when the surgery was completed. Dr. Jacobs came into the waiting room and told us that the surgery went well and then he said, "Your son's chest in now flat". I burst into tears and was so excited for my son. I knew the tremendous impact this would have on him. It seemed an eternity until the initial bandages were able to come off. Wow! I never imagined what he could have looked like. I was also so impressed that there was a minimal of scaring, and what was there could barely be seen. Dr. Jacobs had taken pictures of my son before the surgery, and the change was DRASTIC. We were all so excited. I had never seen my son so happy about the way he looked. He kept looking in the mirror and just smiling.

It is now a year later and my son wears a T-shirt and a regular shirt. That is it! He wears jerseys and materials that he only dreamed about. He goes to the beach and has no problem being bare chested. He is still somewhat overweight, however, that doesn't seem to bother him now that he looks more normal. I feel that when he is ready he will lose the weight and exercise more regularly, but for now, thank you Dr. Jacobs for giving my son his life back. He has so much more confidence and self esteem. You are truly a miracle worker. You have a gift that only some will truly benefit from, and my son was one of the lucky ones.

Marilyn