What Determines the Type of Anesthesia for Man Boob Surgery?
It’s a question that’s frequently asked on gynecomastia.org and posed to us in our New York man boob consultations: what determines the type of anesthesia I can have?
Not every cosmetic surgeon will give the same answer, but in our view, there are just three factors:
1) The surgical plan for your particular physique
In very limited cases, we’ll consider using just local anesthesia for man boobs. You may be a candidate if we determine your gynecomastia is limited to small lumps of breast tissue just under the nipple. For patients like this, we make tiny incisions and are in and out in a short time.
With most guys we treat in New York, man boob tissue that needs removing consists of both breast gland and fat and is spread out beyond the nipple/areola complex. We use our instruments a bit more extensively to eliminate excess tissue, create smooth contours and re-drape the skin to lie flat. Local anesthesia isn’t sufficient for the vigorous liposuction strokes required to smooth out the surrounding tissues. We feel strongly: if you plan to do this only one time your life, do it right, do it comfortably and have a good experience. This is why twilight anesthesia (IV sedation) is our go-to choice for almost every case of gynecomastia; read more about it below.
It’s possible your procedure may take extra time. This can happen if you have very large moobs or a significant amount of loose skin, or more likely, if you are interested in combination surgery such as male breast reduction with extensive liposuction. “Time on the table” is an important consideration when it comes to choosing anesthesia for gynecomastia surgery—when procedures may be lengthier than usual, we may opt for general anesthesia.
2) Your overall health
The vast majority of our New York man boob patients can have twilight anesthesia in our fully-accredited surgical suite. Occasionally we work with a man who has underlying medical conditions that may warrant general anesthesia and even call for surgery in a hospital. In cases where another condition is a factor, we make sure to coordinate closely with the patient’s physicians and make decisions together.
3) Your plastic surgeon
The final determining factor in selecting anesthesia for man boob surgery is your plastic surgeon. Some offer local medication only to eliminate the need for an anesthesiologist and allow lower-cost surgery—we often advise patients to think twice about going that route. Not only are the results sometimes disappointing, we have also heard about unfortunate patient experiences while in surgery. Saving a little money is just not worth the risk.
Many cosmetic surgeons tend to go with general anesthesia because it’s safe and easy for the surgical team. Patients are fully asleep and calm, allowing the procedure to progress smoothly.
There’s nothing wrong with general anesthesia except the side effects. Guys are groggy when they wake up and often need more time in the recovery room and extra support the afternoon/evening following the procedure. Patients are prohibited from driving for a few days to allow the fog to leave their system. Along with the woozy feeling can come chills, headache and nausea.
Twilight sedation, our choice for most patients, avoids those side effects. You will drift off to sleep gently with meds administered through your IV. Our M.D. anesthesiologist will be by your side the entire procedure, monitoring you closely to ensure you are fully but lightly asleep. We have worked hand-in-hand for thirty years, and we handle our patients seamlessly.
Once the last stitch is in place, you will wake up very quickly and easily. Most guys feel like they just closed their eyes moments ago, and some tell us they could drive themselves home with no problem! (We don’t let them, of course.)
This method requires a surgical team that coordinates their moves naturally, one with highly experienced members who can anticipate each other’s needs. We feel the benefits of providing this protocol for our New York man boobs patients is well worth providing this extra level of care.
If you agree, why not fill out our short contact form and tell us about yourself. We welcome you to our practice specializing in gynecomastia surgery in New York!
Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay