Without a doubt, this is the most important consideration in the treatment of gynecomastia. The surgeon is going to determine the success or failure of your procedure. Experience, price and location are very important in the decision making process.
Considering that there are many medical practitioners who say they treat gynecomastia, how can you best evaluate a surgeon to determine if they merely dabble in gynecomastia, or are “crunchers” — surgeons who perform over 100 cases a year and know what they are doing?
The following is my short list on how to choose the best gynecomastia surgeon. This is not an absolute list, only a general guideline to keep yourself out of harm’s way so you don’t end up disappointed, or worse.
You should think twice if any of the following are true.
- Your doctor lacks experience in gynecomastia treatment if (s)he:
- Can’t pronounce the word gynecomastia.
- Can’t tell you whether or not you have gynecomastia.
- Is dismissive of your condition and suggests to wait it out.
- Says treatment of gynecomastia is easy, is the same for every case, and there is no risk of complication.
- Is not confident or is overly confident without having demonstrated that he is a gynecomastia expert.
- Tells you (s)he only sees several patients a year, if at all.
- Doesn’t have a website that proves (s)he is experienced in gynecomastia.
- Practices at a reputable medical institution but has no proven experience with gynecomastia.
- Your doctor doesn’t provide patient-centered care if (s)he:
- Doesn’t spend the time to build a rapport with you.
- Doesn’t ask you about how gynecomastia has affected your mind and life in general, and doesn’t try to understand the frustration, humiliation and anxiety that it causes.
- Doesn’t ask you the result you want.
- Is unwilling to examine your chest, or does so with discomfort.
- Has office staff that is uncomfortable with you, or vice versa.
- Sells and doesn’t educate.
- Has a lack of passion for treatment.
- Your doctor is suggesting questionable treatment alternatives if (s)he:
- Tells you your gynecomastia can be treated non-surgically.
- Tells you that you need labs or imaging studies.
- Tells you that removing gland will “leave a depression.”
- Recommends medications and hasn’t performed any blood tests.
- Tells you that there are no incisions or scars after treatment.
- Tells you (s)he will treat your gynecomastia with liposuction alone, or uses a liposuction device that makes open surgery unnecessary.
- Tells you that you need skin removal across the chest (which will leave massive scars).
- Suggests liposuction in other areas of your body despite your elevated BMI.
- Your doctor does not understand recovery if (s)he expresses:
- That it takes 6 months to see the benefits of treatment when the swelling goes away.
- That there is no need for post procedure activities like rolling/massage and compression.
- Indifference about how you are doing mentally afterwards.
- Lack of a game plan for you to follow to get your head where it needs to be.
- Finally, though these may be obvious, question your doctor if:
- Your doctor isn’t even an MD.
- You don’t meet the doctor.
- (S)he accepts insurance for your treatment.
- The procedure is in a hospital or Surgicenter, or a spa or “Med-Spa” at the local mall.
- Your doctor is very inexpensive or very expensive without proven expert skills and vast experience — a gynecomastia expert.
Again, these are general guidelines to help you make the most important decision regarding the success of your gynecomastia treatment — the choice of surgeon. I hope this helps.