Gynecomastia Surgery Was The Right Decision For Me
My story with gynecomastia starts with me making the regretful decision to take prohormones when I was 23 years old, 4 years before I ultimately decided to have gynecomastia surgery. Throughout college, I got big into weight lifting and got my body in good shape. When I left college, I thought it would be a good idea to give myself an edge and started taking testosterone boosters and eventually prohormones for improved strength and endurance. I saw these supplements as being less risky than steroids, but offered an edge I'd be unable to achieve without them. For about a year after I started taking the prohormones, I indeed saw muscle and strength gains. I was feeling pretty good about myself and had pretty high self-esteem. For the first time in my life, I was happy with the way my whole body looked.
The first time I noticed that I was starting to grow breast tissue on top of my pectoral muscles was pretty bad. I went through a period of denial, shock and then came to the realization that no supplement, such as Gynexin, was going to cure my gynecomastia. I was going to require surgery and I don't think anyone wants to hear that.
I would say the denial stage of admitting I had gynecomastia last about a year. The low point in this year was when my gym buddy pointed out that I was growing 'man boobs' when I was getting changed in the locker room. Wonderful I thought to myself. That was such a blow to my self-confidence, that I fell into a deep depression. I stopped going to the gym and started eating more junk food than I had ever eaten in my life. I went from feeling great about my body to thinking 'Who cares what I do at the gym. I'm growing breast tissue.'
My gynecomastia only got worse. I went from having small man boobs to having sensitive, puffy nipples. Even though I had resisted, eventually I came to the reality that male breast reduction surgery was going to be my only option. There was no way I was going to continue to live my life like this. I wanted my breasts (was hard calling my chest muscles breasts) to go away and I wanted to get my old body back.
Finding a doctor:
I met with three plastic surgeons within 45 minutes of where I live and ultimately ended up picking Dr. Breslow in Paramus, New Jersey. The reason I ended up choosing him was because he seemed kind, knowledgable and charged in the middle of the two other surgeons I had consulted with. I was confident that he would do a good job and I liked his before and after pictures. This was a surgical procedure and I wasn't going to take the risk of going with the cheapest doctor. Price mattered but it wasn't the only deciding factor. I wanted to make sure I woke up from general anesthesia in one piece.
Dr. Breslow told me that to fix my enlarged breasts he would need to do liposuction and then remove the gland that was creating my issue. By removing the gland, the likelihood of my gynecomastia returning was low.
The cost of my surgery was $5800 and it was performed at an outpatient procedure through Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ. I preferred a hospital over a surgical facility to be extra cautious. My uncle is a doctor and told me that hospitals are better equipped to deal with any issue that could potentially arise during surgery. I hoped nothing happened, but it was better to be safe than sorry.
Before having my surgery I needed to make sure I was medically cleared. I'm young enough where I didn't need too many tests (e.g. a EKG or stress test) but did need to have my blood taken, pulse and heart rate checked. All checked out ok and I was cleared for surgery.
The night before my operation, I had to stop eating and drinking before midnight. They want you to do this so you have an empty stomach during surgery (in case you get sick). I don't normally eat that late unless I had a rough night before, so this was not a big deal.
I got up, showered with antibacterial soap and got dressed. My girlfriend drove me to the hospital and then it was time to get checked- in. I was pretty nervous about having surgery but knew I had to go through with it and couldn't chicken out. Gyno surgery was the only thing that was going to help me get my body back.
The next stop was filling out some paper work and then I waited to be called into the pre-operative area. In the pre-operative area I was given a bag, to put all of the clothes I was wearing into, and a hospital gown to change into. The pre-operative area is basically a hospital bed with walls on either side and a curtain.
I got changed, used the bathroom (need an empty bladder before surgery) then hopped on the hospital bed and a nurse came to put an IV in my hand. When the nurse first told me the IV was going to be placed in my hand, I cringed. In all my years of being stuck with needles at the doctors, no one has ever stuck a needle in my hand! Fortunately for me, it wasn't painful.
Then I sat in the pre-operative area until my surgeon came by. Dr. Breslow spoke with me and told me everything would be fine. After him, the anesthesiologist came by and asked me what my height and weight were. Fifteen minutes after that, I was wheeled into the operating room.
In the operating room, I was asked to transfer myself from the hospital bed on to the surgical table. The anesthesiologist gave be a sedative in my IV and I actually started feeling pretty good. The last thing I remember before blacking out, was the anesthesiologist placed this big syringe next to my head and I thought it hadn't been hooked up yet but then I was out.
I woke up in the same area I was in before surgery. When I got up, I actually felt really good. Almost like I had the best night's sleep of my life. I felt perfectly relaxed too and did not feel any pain at all. The BP monitor that was hooked up to me showed that my pressure was only 115/75, which was awesome, since I normally run at 125/80. I was in good shape.
Dr. Breslow came by to check on me and said everything went great. I stayed in the post-op area for 45 minutes or so and then I was allowed to go home.
The journey back home was fun. I had a compression vest on and medical gauze wrapped around my whole body. I felt like I was in a straitjacket. Well maybe not that bad, but I felt pressure around my chest. I think the combination of the wraps, vest and swelling I had is what caused me to feel pressure. It wasn't like an elephant was sitting on me, but I felt like I had just done a brutal chest workout and my muscles were tightening on me.
Night After Surgery:
The evening following surgery was unremarkable. I had been given painkillers and took them as a precaution. I was not in any pain though. I also surprisingly slept well my first night. I think the day's events had completely knocked me out. So much anxiety leading up to surgery and then it was all over. My nerves were shot.
Day 1 Post-op:
Waking up was a pain. I wasn't in pain but felt like I had been punched in the chest. I had a little bit of blood coming out from my incisions and was still experiencing pressure from the bruising and swelling against my compression vest. I was applying ice packs over my vest quite often to reduce the swelling. Besides that, I was comfortable. Chunks of fatty tissue and glands had been removed from my chest, so I didn't expect to be jumping around a day after. I knew there would be a recovery period.
Later in the night I got to take peek at my chest. It was beaten up looking, but I could already tell it was more even. That canonical look around my areolas was gone. One pec seemed more swollen than the other one, but I was pretty satisfied with what I could already see.
Day 2 Post-Op:
I felt a little less pressure but was still bruised. My swelling was starting to come down though.
Day 3 Post-Op:
I was really constipated from the pain medication I was taking. I had not done a number 2 until the morning of my third day post-op. Before that, the last time I went was the day before surgery. This kind of scared me but I was told that this could happen. I took some milk of magnesia to help me go to the bathroom. It helped and I recommend using it if you're having issues too.
Day 4 Post-Op:
I had my first post-op appointment 4 days after surgery. I thought I was developing a seroma under my chest because I had felt what I thought was fluid underneath one of my areolas. I knew this was one of the potential side-effects of my gynecomastia procedure and I wanted to ask Dr. Breslow about it.
Dr. Breslow told me that what I thought was a seroma was actually just muscle tissue and that there may have potentially been some air trapped in there, which is why I thought I was feeling fluid.
Day 5-7 Post-Op:
My appetite started to improve at this point in my recovery. This coincided with me reducing and then stopping the pain killers I was on. I wasn't hurting and I'm not the type of person who likes taking pain killers. This isn't to say I wasn't sore still. I still was and had some tenderness when I touched my chest.
Day 8-14 Post-Op:
I removed one of the 2 ace bandages I had been wrapping around my chest. This made some of tension I was feeling on my chest go away.
Day 14-21 Post-Op:
I was still wearing my compression vest and was a pain to put on and take off all the time because of how many little loops I need to connect at the front of it. On day 21, I had another follow up visit with Dr. Breslow had a small seroma on my left areola drained. They drained it with a small needle and it was no big deal.
By month 3, I looked good. My chest was even and all of swelling and bruising had gone away. I was no longer wearing my compression vest and was very happy with how flat my chest looked. I didn't have any excess skin either. My muscle and skin were tightly joined together.
My View of Gynecomastia Surgery:
Look, surgery isn't fun. No one wants to have it. I also know that it was my fault for trying prohormones in the first place. I did this to myself and surgery was the payback. There was no way I was going to continue living live with man boobs. I felt terrible about my appearance before surgery. None of those ridiculous supplements like Gynexin were going to help either. The bad glandular tissue and fat needed to be removed for my chest to look normal. Making the choice to have surgery was one of the best decisions. I no longer look at myself after I get out of the shower and think about the way my pecs look. I'm now comfortable wearing tight shirts and none worrying if people will see breast tissue. Long story short, get the surgery if you have gynecomastia. You will not regret it!
Now I need to get my out of shape body back in the gym!