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Travelling for Bilateral Surgical Excision - My Story, now with Pics!!!

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Offline ajax6

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Hey guys!  If you haven't read any of my other posts, here's a bit of background.  I'm 26 years old, 6'4", ~200 lbs, with gynecomastia between medium and large (according to my PS (according to me it's SEVERE)).  I don't remember exactly when the gyne started, but I was very young, so it's something I've dealt with my whole life.  As we all know, gynecomastia is an all-consuming, mind-fucking nightmare and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone but my worst enemy.  It is such a pervasive disease that it affects one's ability to perform the most fundamental activitites; to walk down the street, to be intimate with loved ones, to look in the mirror, to shower without cupping your breast so it doesn't hang down when you bend over.  It presides over every decision I make even stupid, little ones that most people take for granted.  For instance, do I really NEED to go to the grocery store?  That would entail getting up, ironing a shirt, etc.  Do I have enough clean Fruit of the Loom Size Small undershirts to last me through the week; what if I need to wear two in one day?  What do I tell my friend when he asks if I want to go out on the boat (which means being around swimming and wind, gyne's worst foes)?  We know how horrible it is to be walking when the wind is blowing the wrong way and pressing your shirt against your chest, which seems to be ALWAYS (what's up with that, by the way?).  Have you ever had that feeling of exasperation while in the department store because you can't find a shirt that's "gyne friendly" enough?  How do you adjust your shirt during a meeting ever so slightly so that the fold in the material under your breast goes away?  You get the idea......

So a couple of months ago, I decided to do something about it.  Life is too short to live this way, no?  It was time to make the way I look on the outside match the way I feel on the inside...  I am someone who is not afraid, who likes to laugh and be around other people and spend time outside and do all the things "normal" people do without apprehension.  With that, I made an appointment with one of the most revered gynecomastia surgeons in the country.  ---  Wow!  For those of you who've had surgery, you realize that this is where the real craziness begins.  In the weeks leading up to the operation, it was all I could think about.  What are my results going to look like?  Am I crazy for choosing a surgeon whose office is out of town?  Should I start working out now or wait?  What do I tell people at the office?  At one point, a few days before getting on the plane, I actually thought for a minute that I didn't need surgery and I was just being overly dramatic!  

Fast forward to the night before I left home on my quest to eradicate gynecomastia.  I live in Florida and was flying to New York via Atlanta the next morning at 7am.  Packing was a nightmare because I had no idea what to bring.  I stopped off at CVS on my way home from work and picked up some granola bars, fruit cups and tuna/cracker things.  That should be good, right?  I knew I was only going to bring one bag and a light carryon because I didnt' know what the pain would be like afterward.  Since I was travelling alone, it was imperative that I be able to handle everything by myself (see my thread on how I couldn't even tell my mom about the surgery http://www.gynecomastia.org/smf/index.php/topic,12481.0.html ).  I had gone to Macys and bought a bunch of zip-up sweatshirts and loose pants on the recommendation of other posters in this forum.  Other than that, all I packed was a pair of slippers, a few books, vitamins, my filled prescriptions for vicodin/antibiotic, an mp3 player, digital camera ('cept I forgot the battery at home), and my laptop.  Of course, sleeping was next to impossible and I left all the lights on to ensure I would wake up at 4:30 to get to the airport on time.  

December 13th, the day before surgery.  The trip was a breeze even though the weather in New York was severe.  Is that snow?  (remember I'm from Florida and last night I had the freakin' A/C on).  Hello, Car Service?  Take me to my plastic surgeon's office please!  It was at that point I met the team which would hopefully change my life for the better.  Everything was exactly how I pictured it being, except for the sign on the door under the doctor's name that said "GYNECOMASTIA CENTER."  Needless to say, I ducked in as quickly as I could (I may be neurotic, but at least I'm consistent)!  I met with the doctor for about 15 minutes and signed some paperwork, etc.  I was kind of expecting a longer consultation but all he basically said was, "I cut the nipple (while drawing a handy diagram on a post-it), excise the gland, and liposuction the fat.  I'll leave drains if you're a bleeder, and I do not require my patients to wear a compression vest."  I actually did question him on his vest philosophy (because I've been brainwashed to think that a vest should always be worn) and he went on to explain that about 15 years ago, he started having half of his patients wear the vest and half of them not wear it; the results were the same in both cases.  Of course, he wraps you after the procedure and once more at the post-op, but that's it.  ---  I think the weirdest part of the day was when I walked back into the waiting room, there were two other guys sitting there filling out paperwork and you could hear a pin drop.  No one made eye contact, but it was obvious we were sizing eachother up big time.  

Off to the hotel, about five miles away.  Things were moving along so smoothly, I couldn't believe it!  My mood was cool/calm and from the Dr's office to the hotel I had this crazy driver who kept asking me if I wanted to drive!!  I guess I had made some comment about how I was glad he was driving and not me because of the ice on the road.  haha!  I get to the room and arrange everything so I won't have any problems the next day when I get back from surgery.  This means making sure nothing is on the floor or over your head and all toiletries, prescriptions and various sundry items are unpacked/accessible so you don't have to bend over or move too much to get them.  Sleep!

December 14th, the day of surgery.  7:15; I'm the first one to arrive at the Doctor's office (yeah, even before the Doctor).  Good thing I brought my USA Today, even though I couldn't really read because all I was thinking about was the fact that I'm about to have surgery.  So the Doctor calls me back, draws circles on my boobs, shakes my hand and I lie down on the OR table.  One of the reasons I chose this guy is the fact that his Operating Room is located in his office, so there's no need to go to the hospital.  The anesthesiologist comes in, and lights out!  The next thing I know, I'm in the Recovery Room!  ...and let me tell you, I was in PAIN.  I had excision and liposuction under IV sedation, and 60g of fat was removed, which is a lot.  The pain was actually a lot worse than I expected and it was coupled with nausea which didn't help.  A while later, I'm in a taxi on the way back to the hotel and I was praying I wouldn't throw up or pass out or anything, which I didn't!  By the time I got back it was around 12:30p, a mere 5 hours after I left!  It's pretty unbelievable how much anticipation and anxiety culminated in 5 hours of being in a Doctor's office.  The rest of the afternoon I napped and eventually felt well enough to order room service at around 6:00pm.  I was pretty hungry, since I hadn't eaten since the night before so I pretty much wolfed that thing down quick.  One thing they don't tell you is how thirsty you'll be after surgery!  It's probably something to do with the IV, but I was peeing pretty frequently.

December 15, the day after surgery.  I woke up at about 7:30am and took a vicodin.  Since that I've been sitting around, watching tv, writing this post and looking out my window at the beautiful, snow-covered woods behind the hotel.  I've looked in the mirror a few times and words can't even describe what I see.  Yesterday I was totally flat and today there's a bit of swelling (mostly on the side), so I can see what guys are saying when it looks like they still have a boob the next day.  Now it's about 3pm and I'm ready for a nap... so I'll keep you posted!

Linkback: https://www.gynecomastia.org/smf/index.php?topic=12542.0

Re: Will Travel for Bilateral Surgical Excision - My Story, One Day Post-Op
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2007, 09:46:57 PM »
wow... Great job man... I read through this thing and I don't think I blinked one time.  Are you a writer?
Congrats on surgery!

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Offline mizuno

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Re: Will Travel for Bilateral Surgical Excision - My Story, One Day Post-Op
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2007, 10:16:59 PM »
Do you have any pictures ?

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Offline mmaman

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Re: Will Travel for Bilateral Surgical Excision - My Story, One Day Post-Op
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2007, 10:23:20 PM »
congratulations. 
Any cool pie charts on your usa today? 

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Offline ajax6

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Re: Will Travel for Bilateral Surgical Excision - My Story, One Day Post-Op
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2007, 11:19:12 PM »
Thanks, beretta!  Nope, not a writer but thanks!  I think vicodin makes me smarter....  haha. 

mmaman - No, but can I tell you how much I love pie charts?  They can really help to illustrate a point, and I use them at work all the time....

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Offline macho

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Re: Will Travel for Bilateral Surgical Excision - My Story, One Day Post-Op
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2007, 02:24:44 PM »
great story mate.i like the way you expressed yourself. you must be lying, you should be a professional writer.
take care.

Re: Will Travel for Bilateral Surgical Excision - My Story, One Day Post-Op
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2007, 07:26:46 PM »
reading ur story made me feel as if i were in your shoes lol.. glad everything turned out well for you and thanks for sharing .

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Offline ajax6

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Re: Travelling for Bilateral Surgical Excision - My Story, now with Pics!!!
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2007, 10:00:58 PM »
Alright, folks...  I just arrived back home from that whole "surgery in New York" thing...  ...and I couldn't wait to post some pics!!  A couple of things to keep in mind:

1.  I am 4 days post op in the pics attached to my original post.
2.  There are pads under the bandage to collect fluid, so it makes the bandage look poofy.
3.  I realize I'm kinda chubby and I probably should have lost some more weight before surgery; so sue me.
4.  See the RIGHT side and how bruised and red it is???  THAT IS WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO TAKE IT EASY AFTER SURGERY AND NOT LIFT YOUR ARMS OVER YOUR HEAD, ETC.

When I left my hotel this morning, the bruising was minimal; all that red stuff you see is a result of carrying my bag around the airport, opening doors and driving.  Obviously there is going to be some bruising and swelling, but the idea is to minimize it! 

Okay, I'm done preaching...  ...but I don't want to read any more posts about how you went to work the day after surgery and you're pissed about swelling!!!

I'll keep y'all posted on the progress.

Re: Travelling for Bilateral Surgical Excision - My Story, now with Pics!!!
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2007, 03:20:56 AM »
Congrats man, we had surgery in the same day: you in USA, I in Italy.
Best Wishes!
You can find the success before sweating only on your dictionary.

Re: Travelling for Bilateral Surgical Excision - My Story, now with Pics!!!
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2007, 09:28:13 PM »
any updated pics ?

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Offline ajax6

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Re: Travelling for Bilateral Surgical Excision - My Story, now with Pics!!!
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2007, 03:18:57 PM »
Here are some more pics sans compression wrap.  These were taken at the 10 day post-op mark.  The only thing I hate about taking these pictures is that I can see how fat I am!  ...can't wait to start working out...


Re: Travelling for Bilateral Surgical Excision - My Story, now with Pics!!!
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2007, 03:34:44 PM »
Congrats Ajax - Your results look great.

I'm nearly done wearing the vest myself and can start working out on Monday! Finally.

Mentally - I still think about it all the time. I don't think anyone even knows that I've done it. But to me... so far it's been worth it. I'm wearing the silicon sheeting at this point.

All of these years hiding my moobs and now I'm hiding the fact that I had surgery. Still wearing the same clothes, hiding the man-bra I've been wearing and hiding the silicon sheeting... it's funny to me.

In a way - you've been holding back your whole life because of this silly (yet horrible) condition. Go live. :)


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Offline sometimesuk

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Re: Travelling for Bilateral Surgical Excision - My Story, now with Pics!!!
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2007, 04:48:44 PM »
How are you feeling generally? Are you in pain with generally moving around?

I'm sure that I have read somewhere that if you rub coconut oil into the skin around your scar that it will help it to heal and minimise any scaring.