Real Patient Question: How to Find a Gynecomastia Revision Specialist
We happened across a question on RealSelf the other day. A patient was asking where he might find a gynecomastia revision specialist.
We were a bit surprised at the answer one doctor gave, “I’m not sure there is such a thing.” We respectfully disagree! It’s true you won’t find one on any street corner, but we know of several gynecomastia specialists around the U.S. who treat many revision cases annually. Our practice is one example—we treat guys seeking revision gynecomastia surgery in New York dozens of times each year, patients from all over the world. Other highly qualified, board certified plastic surgeons practice in the Los Angeles area, Boston, Chicago, Baltimore and other large U.S. cities.
How to Recognize a Specialist
Since most board certified plastic surgeons offer male breast reduction, we do know it may not be obvious at first glance who’s a specialist and who’s not. We echo one of our colleagues’ suggestions: visit gynecomastia.org. This is a site focusing specifically on all topics related to man boobs, and there’s a good “find a surgeon” page. (You may also enjoy and pick up information by joining in the discussion forums.)
Gynecomastia patients aren’t nearly as common as, say, women seeking breast augmentation (usually the number one or two procedure across the nation each year) and folks interested in liposuction, eyelid lifts and other more common cosmetic surgeries. Therefore, it does take time for a plastic surgeon to develop expertise with man boobs. When we interact with guys online asking searching for a qualified doctor, we suggest he look for board certified plastic surgeons who have been treating gynecomastia patients for 15 years or more.
When a revision candidate finds an experienced gynecomastia surgeon, we advise asking about how many cases of man boobs they treat each year. A great answer is 100 or more. That means the doctor has become known as an expert and has developed a following. This happens with assistance from sites like RealSelf, gynecomastia.org, bodybuilding forums and other ways word spreads.
Why Revision Gynecomastia Surgery is Tricky
Another of our colleagues responded to the question on RealSelf with information about what commonly propels patients to seek gynecomastia surgery. He noted that oftentimes liposuction only has been performed, leaving bumpy gland tissue in its wake. In other cases, a surgeon may have been too aggressive with the instruments, leaving behind craters and valleys. There’s always scar tissue to deal with in revision surgeries, and sometimes tethering that has bound surface skin to tissues underneath.
None of these problems is easy to deal with. Contour issues require sculpting a smooth layer of fat and re-draping the skin so it lies flat. Very often, fat transfer is needed to fill in depressions—fat flaps are the most reliable way to accomplish this but few plastic surgeons are experienced in the technique. We offer more information about gynecomastia “do-overs” here.
Additional Points to Consider
Obviously, we believe strongly that gynecomastia surgery is a sub-specialty within the world of plastic surgery. We’ve written more extensively about that topic here. Revision gynecomastia surgery is even more challenging to perform. For that reason, we hope every guy who signs up for a gynecomastia revision consultation hears that the plastic surgeon is confident they can improve—but not perfect—the patient’s appearance. This is an honest, realistic stance that indicates the doctor may indeed have the chops to do the procedure. And it’s what we tell our New York gynecomastia revision patients.
Finally, we advise patients thinking about a second gynecomastia surgery to be willing to travel to work with an expert. The last thing these guys need is another disappointing outcome.
If you’re in the same boat as the RealSelf patient, we would love to talk with you. Why not contact us online and tell us about your case?