Dr. C Opens Up About His Own Gyno Treatment

Dr. Caridi tells about his own gyno treatment

I thought you all would enjoy reading about my experience with gynecomastia treatment. Yes, I had treatment for what I called “older guy” gynecomastia. I’m still trying to think of a name for my type of gynecomastia that doesn’t make it sound old or insignificant. I haven’t written about it publicly until now. I never had gynecomastia personally until I hit the age of sixty. I was always in relatively good shape and I had a good body image of myself. I was generally happy with what I saw in the mirror.

“The last straw was the appearance of my chest in a fitting Polo shirt.”

Things changed when I hit 60. Along with common signs of aging like thinning hair, looser skin, moles, and wrinkles, I noticed my chest was fuller and a bit saggy. It became obvious to me with time — and the LED lights in my bathroom! I tried to get feedback from my friends, but they were no help. My staff who, like me, have treated thousands of gynecomastia patients, all said I was fine and it was in my head.

The last straw was the appearance of my chest in a fitting Polo shirt. I thought I was rocking it for my age, but I was quickly humbled. When I squeezed the bottom of my chest, moving everything up, the difference was night and day. I realized it was the general fullness of my chest, particularly the fullness that was lower on my chest than before. I was no longer “high and tight”—my chest was lower, more pointy, and breast-like. Not a happy situation.

Experiencing gynecomastia surgery for myself

I didn’t hesitate about treatment at all. It was super easy for me because I knew a skilled surgeon who understood the art of treatment. It helped that I know how happy my patients are with their own treatment. There isn’t a day in my practice when I don’t get to fully appreciate the transformation that happens with treatment. The rewards are high and the risks are low.

Since my case was relatively small and localized to Zone 1, I decided to go ahead with local anesthesia. I wasn’t excited about feeling the procedure, but I thought it would be good for me to gain a new perspective. I wanted to understand treatment from the patient’s point of view. So why not be awake to take it all in?

“Being a patient on the operating room table and staring up at the ceiling was a first for me.”

My procedure took about an hour from start to finish. It went well, but I did have some uncomfortable moments despite trying to be “tough.” The VASER system in particular has a high-frequency vibration component that went right to my inner ears and made it seem like I was in a movie where high-pitched sounds were disabling people. The sound of regular liposuction is sort of weird, and being a patient on the operating room table and staring up at the ceiling was a first for me. I survived and was elated when it was all done. I was placed in my compression garment and sent on my merry way. 

Even on the table, I could see a big difference. I didn’t have any tissue removal because the problem was skin laxity with sagging, not established gyno tissue. In my experience with patients, this is the exception and not the rule. Almost every case of gynecomastia treatment involves the removal of extra tissue to prevent reoccurrence and improve results.

Listen to your gyno doctor

It was all good until I did not listen to the advice that I give every patient after their treatment. They say surgeons make bad patients, and I did not disappoint. On the day of my treatment, I got a text from a good friend of mine who said he needed a drink and wanted to talk — he was having some personal issues and I agreed to visit with him as I was feeling fine. Well, the talk included relationship discussions that led to several drinks. That evening I developed swelling of my chest on both sides. No doubt this was related to alcohol. That’s why I tell my patients not to drink alcohol for one week before and two weeks after treatment. It thins the blood, which increases bleeding and causes swelling.

“I felt highs and lows during those sixty days depending on the appearance of my chest.”

I won’t bore you with the details about recovery from gynecomastia surgery over the following two months, but it wasn’t fun. I had intermittent swelling and lots of bruising, and I eventually developed early scar tissue. It was like a mass or sponge of deeper tissue. It only responded to my compression garment and the use of finger massage. I even used a personal mechanical massaging device to help with the scar tissue and inflammation. I felt highs and lows during those sixty days depending on the appearance of my chest. The experience taught me much about the healing process. I believe this must have happened for a reason — it will make me a better gynecomastia surgeon and more empathetic to my patients. Now I know how to treat gynecomastia as a surgeon and what it’s like to be a patient.

My experience after gyno treatment

Fast forward to 4 months after treatment. and I can tell you that my chest ROCKS. One of my best experiences was the night that I was going out to dinner and put on a Polo shirt. My chest looked amazing. I no longer saw this area of sagging fullness. I no longer had a limp chest. It was well defined and high and tight. I didn’t look like “that guy.” As someone who works out regularly and invests in his body, it was nice to see mirror feedback that was full of positivity.

So there you have it: my personal journey with gynecomastia treatment, seen from the perspectives of both an accomplished gynecomastia surgeon and a humble patient. I learned gynecomastia treatment is definitely well worth it in quality hands, and the emotional and psychological benefits are simply enormous. Feeling good about yourself is a good thing! I hope my personal and professional experience helps you with your own gynecomastia journey.  

Talk to a doctor who understands gynecomastia

It was frustrating trying to talk to friends and colleagues about my gynecomastia. It’s essential to see a specialist who knows how to recognize and treat your gyno. If you’d like to chat, I can diagnose gynecomastia in an online consultation. We can set your mind at ease, or we can look at your options for treatment. Remember, feeling good about yourself is a good thing. Schedule your free consultation to get started.

Robert Caridi, MD
Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery
Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS)
Member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
Member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
Founder of the Austin Gynecomastia Center