Two Paths to Follow for Gynecomastia
We answered a question in a gynecomastia.org forum the other day about the best way to get started on the route toward gynecomastia surgery. The poster, now a father with kids who need to learn to swim, finally felt ready to go ahead with the procedure so he can be comfortable taking the young ones to the pool.
Of course, there is no one right way to get started. But we’ve discovered, by talking with people on gynecomastia.org and in our offices in New York, the man boob surgery path generally takes one of two forms.
The Step by Step Approach
The young father had in mind to take a methodical approach to his journey, starting with getting in better shape and dropping a few pounds. Then he planned to visit his G.P. for a chat about his condition, see an endocrinologist for hormone tests, then book a consultation with a plastic surgeon.
This is a good plan, especially for a guy who likes to do things thoroughly and cautiously. It covers all the bases, and for someone wired to be very careful it can no doubt ease the mind. But it might be surprising to hear that not only is this kind of multi-step approach not necessary for many guys, it has some drawbacks as well.
Straight to the Source
It’s hard to imagine many people knowing more about gynecomastia than highly experienced plastic surgeons who take a special interest in man boobs. Our New York patients, for that reason, tend to do plenty of research online then come straight to our door.
Naturally, it’s a good idea for all guys to be fit and at or close to their ideal weight. It’s better for the body, and, after surgery “what you see is what you get.” There’s no wondering whether dropping further weight might cause loose skin and so on.
Having agreed with that step, though, it’s usually fine for guys to skip seeing their regular doctor before consulting a board certified gynecomastia specialist. Why? Well, for one thing, we’re doctors too. Appointments with us involve taking vital signs, discussing family health history and ordering any tests needed. If there’s any reason at all for a patient to see his regular doctor, such as getting cleared for surgery in the case of other medical conditions, then we advise him to do so.
We like to point out that it’s not unusual for a G.P. to have limited knowledge about man boobs. It’s very possible that a primary care physician will not be able to shed any light on what a guy often wants to know—why me? Indeed, often there is no apparent cause. And young patients are sometimes told to wait until full adulthood when gynecomastia will disappear (persistent cases won’t).
Similarly, visiting an endocrinologist for hormone tests is usually not required either. In working with thousands of guys with man boobs in New York over the years, we’ve found that those who have had hormone tests almost always have normal levels. And have spent money needlessly. Those of us who have gynecomastia surgery as a sub-specialty in our plastic surgery practices know how to spot a patient who might warrant further testing, for example if Klinefelter’s Syndrome is suspected. If there’s any doubt, we refer guys on for appropriate tests.
A Parting Word
What we hope men learn in their research is that no matter what triggered their enlarged chest—an unusual genetic configuration, out of whack hormones or no known cause at all (most common)—the solution is gynecomastia surgery. No pills, creams, weight loss, weight gain or gym workouts will do the job.
If you’re beginning your gynecomastia journey and you’re not sure which route to take, there’s no harm in starting with a plastic surgeon who specializes handling the condition. They will refer you to other professionals as needed, or you can take their input and go yourself.
We invite you to consult with us in NYC. Man boobs have been a focus for our practice for more than three decades and we would love to work with you.
Send us an email and tell us about yourself.