The only way to find out if a male breast reduction can improve your gynecomastia is through an in-patient consultation. At this point, you will be faced with one of the hardest and most important decisions in your body contouring process: finding an experienced, board-certified cosmetic surgeon that can safely and successfully improve the look of your chest. Get comfortable with your doctor’s online reputation, the look of their office, and his or her before/after photographs before scheduling your in-person consultation. To decide if this surgeon is right for you, ask lots of questions and bring along this checklist, recommended by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Do you hold board-certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS)?
Board-certification means the surgeon has received additional training within a specialty, then passed rigorous verbal and written examinations. The doctor must continue to remain in good standing and consistently meet the high standards of the board.
Have you been specifically trained in the field of plastic surgery?
Just because a physician offers cosmetic procedures, he or she is not necessarily a trained plastic surgeon. In fact, you can find gynecologists, primary care doctors, and even dermatologists who offer body sculpting, aesthetic procedures. Unfortunately, if they have not been trained in plastic surgery, they do not have the knowledge base to perform a safe and effective gynecomastia procedure.
How many years of plastic surgery training have you had?
Plastic surgeons have more training than most other doctors. The specialty requires three years of preparatory surgical training after medical school. Next comes two years of plastic surgery-specific training. Many physicians then add a Fellowship or specialty training in their particular field of plastic surgery interest.
Do you have hospital privileges and where?
A reputable doctor will have privileges at one or more hospitals in the area. Additionally, some plastic surgeons will have their own surgical suites. Discuss your doctor’s choice for your upcoming procedure and make sure they will be operating in an accredited, state-licensed facility.
Am I a good candidate for gynecomastia correction?
Not everyone is right for an invasive male breast reduction procedure. Ask your doctor to explain why you are a good candidate for the surgery, including what kind of results you can expect.
How will you perform my gynecomastia procedure?
Have your surgeon carefully explain his/her surgical treatment plan for your male breast reduction. This should include the type of procedure (either excision or liposuction), where the incisions will be placed, and how long the surgery will take.
How long is my expected recovery?
Your surgeon will let you know the general recovery requirements for a male breast reduction, including how long you will need to be off work. Keep in mind, everyone’s recovery will be unique, so you may need additional time to heal.
Do I need assistance during my recovery period?
Depending on the surgical technique and your individual situation, activities may be limited over the first several post-op days. Your doctor should review the amount of discomfort you can expect, how long to postpone heavy lifting or exercise, and if he/she recommends assistance during the first 24 to 48 hours.
What are the risks of gynecomastia surgery and how are complications handled?
Any surgical procedure holds a small chance for complications like infection, bleeding, scarring, nerve damage, and asymmetry. Your doctor should explain the most common risks and review what signs/symptoms should be immediately reported to his/her office. Make sure you have instructions on how to reach your surgeon should a complication arise outside of work hours.
What happens if I am not satisfied with the outcome of my surgery?
It is safe to assume you will be happy with your male breast reduction results, however, there is always a small chance this will not be the case. Find out how your surgeon handles issues such as poor healing or asymmetrical results. Also, ask what kind of expenses may occur, and who is responsible, should something unexpected take place.
Can I look at current before/after photographs of your gynecomastia patients?
One of the best ways to see a doctor’s surgical style and skill level is to look through their before and after photographs. If there are only a few photos available, this could be a sign your doctor is inexperienced or has not had many happy patients. A truly experienced surgeon will have hundreds of before/after photographs for you to review.
If you are thinking about a corrective procedure for gynecomastia, and you are in the Houston area, schedule a consultation with Dr. Paul Vitenas. Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery opened its doors in 1991, giving Dr. Vitenas over 30 years of gynecomastia experience. Call our office at (281) 668-7370 or fill out our online Contact Us form to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Vitenas.