Todd, like many men across America, struggled with gynecomastia (an enlarged, feminine breast appearance) in his teen years. This condition, commonly occurring during puberty, can make many teens self-conscious about their appearance. “I was in great shape as a teenager – I started playing football at age 12,” says Todd, now 22. “But even though I worked out a lot, I couldn’t seem to lose the fat in my chest. I’d lift weights and exercise, but never got the muscle definition to show for my efforts.” At the age of 16, after struggling with “man boobs” for several years, Todd decided to talk with a Los Angeles plastic surgeon to see what could be done. “A couple of my friends thought I was crazy to be thinking about surgery, but they didn’t know what it was like,” adds Todd. “I was frustrated and discouraged, and in hindsight, talking with a surgeon was so important for me.”
Todd scheduled a visit to Marina Plastic Surgery Associates in Los Angeles to talk about male breast reduction with Dr. Grant Stevens. “I came prepared with questions,” says Todd, “including whether I could really have normal-looking pecs, how much pain I was going to have, and whether I’d be able to keep playing football. Dr. Stevens reassured me that gynecomastia surgery could give me the manly chest I was looking for, and that my football days certainly wouldn’t be over.”
What Dr. Stevens also told him was that it’s important to wait until a patient’s growth spurt has stopped before scheduling surgery. “Sometimes gynecomastia will resolve itself after a few years, and sometimes the fat won’t budge, so Dr. Stevens asked me to wait it out and we made sure in the meantime I was doing everything I could to reduce the fat on my chest.”
Todd visited with Dr. Stevens again when he was 18, and at that point, with all his other options exhausted, Todd was sure that it was time for surgery. Dr. Stevens agreed. The surgery was scheduled and went off without a hitch. “By that point it was clear that my body wasn’t going to change dramatically on its own and it was time for the procedure. It was performed outpatient, so I was in and out the same day.”
Todd was sent home with a few bandages and some over the counter pain medication. “It took me only a few days to recover, but it was probably about 3 months before I really felt comfortable in my own skin again,” says Todd.
“There was a tight feeling in my chest that I didn’t expect, and it took awhile to get used to looking down and seeing my pecs, rather than fat and flab. My incisions healed quickly and now I challenge people to find the scars – they can’t.” Todd had a few follow-up visits to Marina Plastic Surgery, and each time he was greeted with a warm welcome. “Everyone at the practice, they go above and beyond, and their level of respect for me was just always so clear. I appreciated that, along with of course the excellent results from Dr. Stevens.”
Todd has a few thoughts to share with other teens and adult men who are considering breast reduction surgery. “First of all, don’t listen to anyone else – do what feels comfortable for you. And be sure to choose a skilled surgeon. I was a little scared to have surgery on my chest. This is a sensitive area and you want an experienced surgeon. But most of all, stick with it if you’re considering surgery. It’s shocking how happy I am with my results and the boost to my self confidence really is almost too good to be true.”
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