THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE SURGERY
On March 23, we had a blog on FAQ’s for the gynecomastia patient recovering from surgery. There are many questions patients ask Dr. Delgado prior to making the decision to move forward with surgery. Below are several questions he is frequently asked, and we will be posting a few more in our next blog.
Question #1: Are there any nonsurgical treatments for gynecomastia?
Answer: Although you can read about easy, non-surgical cures in the news and advertisements, and there is considerable ongoing research aimed at finding a way to reverse it without surgery, no effective medical treatment actually exists at this time.
Question #2: Is liposuction adequate treatment? I do not want a surgical procedure.
Answer: Liposuction alone is not a good treatment for gynecomastia. Only with cases of pseudogynecomastia is it an adequate technique. Removing the fat around the gland only creates an unnatural bulb and patients are not satisfied with the aesthetic result from this technique. There are some patients that are candidates for the “Light Procedure” which is much less invasive Redo surgery from other establishments comprises 25-30% of Dr. Delgado’s gynecomastia practice and most of these cases have had liposuction alone.
Question #3: Will the entire gland be removed during the surgery?
Answer: Not necessarily. Male breast reduction surgery for gynecomastia is a cosmetic procedure. Therefore, enough is removed to create a good looking, flat, but contoured chest. Sometimes the entire gland is removed and sometimes only 80% or 90% is removed. After surgery, Dr. Delgado is happy to discuss this aspect of your procedure with you.
Question #4: Will it come back after surgery?
Answer: Rarely, but the tissue can be still stimulated and enlarged by steroids or other medication use. Of course, weight gain can increase the fat content of the overall chest and body. Gynecomastia seldom returns if enough of the gland is removed during the surgical procedure.
Answer: This is a very difficult question to answer even though Dr. Delgado has dealt with insurance companies on hundreds of occasions. It is unusual that gynecomastia reduction surgery is covered, even in the most severe and unfortunate cases. Most insurance companies consider it cosmetic surgery. Dr. Delgado has occasionally received approval for cases in which a medical condition or syndrome has caused the gynecomastia. Even symptoms of pain and tenderness usually fail to warrant coverage in the opinion of the insurance carrier.
Nevertheless, Dr. Delgado is always willing to write a letter and send photographs to the insurance carrier on behalf of the patient, with the hope that insurance coverage for the surgery might be granted.