Gynecomastia Surgery: To Revise or not to Revise?
After having surgery with another doctor, some men seek our input about revision for male breast reduction. In our New York practice, it’s not unusual for two or three patients a month to ask about a surgical do-over.
In some cases, the message we communicate is “no revision is the best revision.” Why is this? We find that sometimes, those who consider themselves revision candidates have forgotten one or more of a few principles that need to be carefully considered:
- The wisdom of patience when dealing with swelling
- The importance of getting it right the first time (leaving well enough alone)
- The value of realistic expectations
The most common input we give revision candidates is that they should wait much longer for all swelling to subside before determining how satisfied they are with the initial procedure. As we examine patients, we find residual swelling months – sometimes even a year or more – later in many. It can be frustrating to wait so long for the final result after suffering the embarrassment of gynecomastia, but sometimes a little patience makes all the difference. You can hear from one man about this very notion on gynecomastia.org.
The next thing all plastic surgery patients should keep in mind is the importance of getting it right the first time. For most areas of the body, revision plastic surgery is much more challenging than a first time procedure because the original structures have been altered and scar tissue has formed. Occasionally we advise against a second surgery because we feel the chances for major improvement aren’t high enough weighed against the risks. This means we sometimes tell patients who seek consultation for a second male breast reduction in New York that they’re better off sticking with the outcome their original surgeon created. (You might also think of this as the Michael Jackson’s nose principle.)
As an aside, this is why it’s critical to choose the right plastic surgeon for your gynecomastia procedure. Not just a board certified physician – a surgeon who’s certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Not just a talented plastic surgeon – one who is very experienced in male breast reduction. And not just one who says they handle a lot of cases like yours – one with the before and after gynecomastia photos to prove it.
Closely related to getting it right the first time is the notion of realistic expectations. Let’s face it, male breast reduction surgery will not turn you into a male cover model unless you were already there in every respect except for your gynecomastia. With each New York patient we discuss this prior to surgery, looking to hear an expectation for improvement, not perfection.
If you follow all these principles and are still not content with your surgical results, by all means, schedule revision consultations. See your original surgeon first, then visit two or more plastic surgeons who specialize in male breast reduction and have many successful revision surgeries to their credit.