Is Your Doctor Qualified To Treat Gynecomastia?

freedom from gynecomastia

I founded the Austin Gynecomastia Center over a decade ago to accomplish a personal goal: simplify the diagnosis and treatment of gynecomastia. This needed to happen because it was quite obvious to me that there was too much confusion and misunderstanding regarding the condition. There wasn’t a “standard” general approach, even amongst surgeons. 

How many boys have been told when they were young, “Don’t worry, the gynecomastia will go away on its own,” only to suffer the consequences for years, even decades. This bad advice resulted in no treatment, poor treatment, and even gaslighting. They made you think you were crazy to worry about your chest! These are the burdens of living with gynecomastia.

Choosing the right doctor is always important, and choosing the right gynecomastia surgeon is essential to your successful treatment. I have listed below some of the things that I believe are important to help you make a good decision regarding your surgeon. 

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Do your homework

You need to do your basic homework — is your surgeon a true plastic surgeon or someone calling themselves a plastic surgeon? Unfortunately, it happens all the time. Does your surgeon have high quality credentials and practice surgery in approved facilities for the safe conduct of treatment? Does your surgeon understand the psychological implication of gynecomastia — do they “get it?”

Remember to take the time to look at reviews. If a surgeon’s reviews are terrible, this is a clue to their success in treatment and managing gynecomastia patients. Not everyone who seeks treatment posts a review, but reviews will give you an idea about what to expect and which doctors to avoid.

If your surgeon doesn’t have real, genuine information on their website, this is a clue that they are simply repeating the standard information out there. You don’t want a cut and paste surgeon. It will become clear to you which surgeons are experts and which are inexperienced by reading their websites and watching them on YouTube. 

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Ask questions

It never hurts to ask! Make a list of your questions so you remember to ask them all. Trust me, I’ve been asked everything, and there are no stupid questions when it comes to your health. Don’t just wonder and worry. It’s always better to ask and know for sure.

If you are told “gynecomastia treatment is easy”, I would ask them “why is it easy?” Listen to their answer and see if it makes sense based on what you know. If you engage their practices and you sense an air of unprofessional behavior or they are unorganized, I suggest keep on looking.

Lypo won’t fix gyno on its own

If your surgeon offers only liposuction for your gynecomastia this is a big red flag. Liposuction is an important component in the successful treatment of gyno, but it can’t be the only tool in the toolbox. If you want your gyno gone for good, it will take more than just lipo.

I have shown over the years that treatment almost always (98%) involves removal of tissue under the nipple-areola complex at the very least. If not, you will continue to have puffy nipples and gland you can feel. Any surgeon using only lip to treat their gyno patients is doing them a disservice.

Non-surgical treatment won’t get rid of gyno

There is no non-surgical treatment for gynecomastia. The gold standard treatment is removal of the gynecomastia tissue and appropriate contouring of the chest with liposuction. Energy based treatments like Bodytite, Thermage, and VelaSmooth will not treat gynecomastia. They are a guaranteed waste of your time and money.

You cannot manage your gynecomastia with diet, exercise, pills, medications, potions, or lotions. This will not happen. I have never known anyone who had gyno one day and not the next who didn’t have a procedure to remove the tissue. 

Skin removal is usually unnecessary

In most gynecomastia cases, skin removal treatment is unnecessary. However, it can take years of experience to know when skin removal is needed and when it isn’t. Take a look at before-and-after images of cases similar to yours. If your surgeon recommends skin removal and you have seen results similar to your chest without big scars, you need a second opinion. There is no taking those scars back. 

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Beware of very low (or very high) costs

Very high or low cost for treatment tells you something. Low cost usually means no experience. High cost means they have no experience — if they are going to treat you with the possibility of you not having a good result, they will at least have made money from you. Make sure that the cost reflects experience and positive results. The cost of treatment will be substantial, which is to be expected when dealing with an important medical procedure.

What anesthesia do they offer?

If your surgeon offers only local anesthesia this often means they are operating out of their offices or an uncertified facility. There is nothing good about this. Worse yet, gynecomastia patients may have a fear of anesthesia and these surgeons are working your fear for their business. If a so-called gyno surgeon offers local anesthesia and nothing else, head for the door.

Watch out for poor surgical technique

Make sure that your surgeon will do all the right things and do them the right way. Unless you are a serious bodybuilder with no body fat, gynecomastia tissue removal without the additional contouring of the chest with liposuction will result in a poor appearance of your chest or worse. You do not want to replace your gyno with a “donut” deformity.

Treatment that involves a circular scar around the nipple-areola complex is not a great option for many reasons. It will not “lift” your nipple-areola complexes, and it often results in a scar that looks like a pizza pie. It can make your nipple-areola complexes smaller, but this is often not necessary. Standard gyo treatment will accomplish this without the scars.

Post-op treatment is essential

If your surgeon doesn’t focus on the post treatment gynecomastia recovery, they simply haven’t learned that this is a critical time that requires patient understanding and engagement to ensure a great result. After the procedure itself, the key to a great result is managing the healing process. That’s why we do everything we can to promote healing, manage scarring, and provide the best possible experience.

Stick with a gynecomastia expert

If your surgeon has done less than 10 cases in their career, or if they clearly “dabble” in treatment, I would consider a surgeon who has more experience and has a clear interest in gynecomastia. You learn by doing. Doctors who have been able to follow up with gyno patients over a long time period will know that their methods are successful.

If you have an uncomfortable consultation with your surgeon and you feel the personal connection is not there, I would visit with several others. It will become obvious when you come across a surgeon who has the right mojo. Trust your instincts, particularly when you have seen the YouTube vids and websites of those who are considered the heavy hitters.

Staying local may be convenient, but it doesn’t even remotely guarantee you the high quality results you expect. That’s why I treat patients from across the country and all over the world. It’s worth traveling to get the level of treatment you deserve. 

Listen to your gut

I have been truly impressed in the way gynecomastia patients are keen to know when things are off or fishy. Their instincts are typically spot on. State-of-the-art gynecomastia treatment is a revolution compared to treatment 40 years ago. There has been no better time than now to benefit from treatment so you can start your new life free from the gynecomastia burden.

Ready to start your journey toward freedom from gyno? Schedule your free online consultation today.

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