Recently, a patient asked me the above question. He asked me that because I had spent a lot of time with him helping him overcome gynecomastia. He had lived with it since his adolescent years and he could vividly recall many instances during his life of intense embarrassment and humiliation that had left their marks on his psyche. I call that a scar from having to deal with gynecomastia.
You see, it’s very easy for me to surgically treat my gynecomastia patients. I have performed well over 800 cases and at this point, the procedure is an art form. I don’t worry about my surgery; I worry about my patients’ recovery from the mental trauma of gynecomastia. How much am I actually helping my patients? Who recovers better than others? What can I reasonably tell my patients to expect in terms of the mental recovery from gynecomastia treatment? Do I have a “playbook” that I suggest that my patients follow after their treatment?
As a healthcare provider, I feel responsible for both the physical and mental wellbeing of my patients. So in essence I strive to be both surgeon and therapist. Frankly, I wish I were a better therapist so I could better understand the answers to my very own questions. While there is no doubt that gynecomastia treatment helps, the medical community has yet to uncover the details of how and why. I often tell my patients that the hardest part of treatment isn’t the surgery, it’s finding out what works to heal their minds and to overcome the years of mental anguish that have left their marks.
There are two problems associated with gynecomastia: the physical and the mental. I am both surgeon and therapist because that is what is needed for holistically successful gynecomastia outcomes. My patients need and want me to be both. I promise to all my patients that I will constantly strive to expand my learning and understanding of the psychological aspects of gynecomastia.