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Coming to Virginia from San Diego, California for Dr. Bermant's Gynecomastia Surgery - the following is posted with permission of our patient:
Let me start out with a disclaimer: I receive no 'benefits' for expressing my opinion and this message was unsolicited. These are my opinions. READ: My Opinions. These are not necessarily fact, just how I feel. However I feel the need to share them - to help anyone that is looking - and to give kudos to my Dr. Thanks Doc... from what I see now, you did a great job. I am confident that the final final results will be great.
Now let me set the tone of this post: WOW... Surgery with Dr. Bermant was unbelievably easy and painless. I live in San Diego... that is ALL the way ACROSS the United States. In retrospect, I am 110% happy with my decision to have my surgery done with Bermant. I was worried more about "puffy nipples," as they would 'stand out' - especially on hot days - and I am pretty low in body fat. My surgery was on - it is now 10 days post-op. Today I got to see my entire chest for the first time (before my nipples were covered and protected - a necessary step immediately following the operation). I think it is important to mention that it is still early in my very-simple recovery process - however, so far, so good... and it is my presumption that it will only get better.
Living in sunny Southern California, you would think there would be a ton of experienced surgeons that would be able to do gynecomastia surgery... and, well, you are right. However, after seeing a few of them (I had about 6 consultations before making my decision), none of them convinced more than Bermant. Other said "yeah, we can do it" - but lacked conviction or confidence that I saw in Dr. Bermant. Also, if these other surgeons had before/after pictures they honestly did not look great. Sometimes I would think "why are these pictures in this portfolio? they look horrible!"
Believe me, I wanted to stay local, it makes the entire process a bit simpler... however, I just didn't want to settle - knowing there was a better, more qualified person. My major dilemma was figuring out what type of surgery I wanted. Lipo-only or Lipo/Excision? Lipo-only doctors would mention that their method would minimize scars... claiming to have next to nothing to show scars from surgery. Also they told me that recovery time would be very quick... bruising was rare, and that patients can go back to work or even the gym the next day. That was kind of hard to swallow, but I cant say it's not true - because I never had a real experience. Honestly, to me, the lipo/excision procedure simply made more sense. Go in there, right where the problem is and take care of it. The thought of scar being on the perimeter of the areola made complete sense to me too... "what a perfect hiding place." After seeing many pictures and posts, I was leaning toward the lipo/excision route.
Then I started questioning most all patients that recently had surgery. I would always ask what method their doctor performed and what their 'type' of gyne was (much fat? only puffy nips? - stuff like that). Here is what I noticed... most people that were not happy had lipo-only... I am NOT saying that there were no happy people that only had liposuction - I just noticed, of the people that weren't happy, most of them had lipo-only. In a lot of "after" pictures I saw a bunch of bruising and the looks of discomfort... let me just tell you now, with my surgery, I did not see one single bruise. The information on Dr. Bermant's website is awesome... seeing how it offers so many pictures and patient experiences really proved to me that this doctor knows what he is doing and is very confident about it. To me, confidence is a big issue. I like to see results and talk to doctors that can answer questions quickly, easily, and make me feel comfortable. The funny thing with Dr. B, is that he answers pretty much ALL questions before you need to ask...
Anyway, the point is, I did my research, I didn't limit myself to only Bermant. I actually wanted to stay local and I had consultations with local doctors... but the only one that I felt confident with, was Bermant. I requested the remote consultation package from his website, and got started. Snapped pictures, filled out the requested forms, and mailed it off.... with a check. I wasn't too happy about paying for the consultation... all previous consultations I had were free. But I understand that taking up a doctors time = money. Furthermore, this was no half-ass remote consultation... we talked and talked and talked some more - until he made sure I was ready to hang up... That toward the end of July -- I then scheduled my appointment.
My surgery was on a Saturday... I know the doctor needs to see you a day before surgery for a full examination, paperwork, chest-markup, and more surgery explanation(s) if necessary. I thought he needed (or wanted) to also see me a day after surgery, however it turned out that wasn't necessary (I found this out after already going to Virginia). So, thinking he was to see me after surgery, I made reservations to stay there 5 nights: Fly in Thursday, pre-op examination Friday, surgery on Saturday, day-off on Sunday, post-op Monday, fly out Tuesday. This schedule was a little more than necessary, however, my girlfriend and I figured it would be a mini-vacation too.
I was able to get TWO round-trip tickets from San Diego to Virginia, 5 nights at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Richmond, and a Hertz Car rental for the entire trip - for only $1100. That was a pretty good deal, because I got to stay in downtown Richmond in a nice hotel... rather than a smaller hotel. The drive to the Dr's office was about 20-minute 18-mile (or so) drive... not bad at all.
During the pre-op, the doctor did a VERY THOROUGH job examining me. He had turn in all directions really looking at every aspect of my chest, measured my chest elements with specialized tools, and did other various things. He made sure I understood everything and even had me examine my own chest to get a feel for what he was talking about. Dr. Bermant is very, very serious about his work... I would say "almost too serious," but in his business, I don't think it is possible - ever - to be too serious. It made me happy that my Dr. was 100% into what he was doing. We then went into an office to discuss post-op procedures and scar-care. I had papers to sign and then I was outta there. The next morning was surgery.
Let me take this time to really express just how great the staff over at Bermant's place was. From the first second you hear Jane, you love her. Jane is Bermant's office assistant and she is great. Easy to talk to and makes you feel very comfortable. I hate myself for this but I forget the name of woman anesthesiologist and Dr. Bermant's surgical assistant (I think his name was Charles). Anyway, kudos to those two for making the surgery go by with ease. I enjoyed talking with the anesthesiologist right before surgery... it was relaxing for me. I have had 2 surgical (plastic) operations before this a few years ago... and I really don't like operations or operating rooms... So little things like super-nice and easy going employees were much appreciated.
I walked into the operating room, got onto the bed stretched out my arms and in came Dr. B. Asked how I was doing, and asked about a place where I like to go to relax... and that was that... the anesthesia kicked (local) in and the next thing I know is surgery was over... I remember listening some music and making a comment about it... and the anesthesiologist told me that they were finishing up with the "dressing" on my nipples. After that I was assisted to the recovery room and got to hang out with the anesthesiologist again (d**n, I wish I remembered her name). I was treated to water and crackers. And let me just tell you... that was like gold to me I am a water freak and didn't have any since midnight... so I gulped that stuff. And the plan white crackers were the best d**n crackers I ever tasted (I was real hungry too). I felt very good.
Seriously guys... I felt absolutely no bad effects (i.e. nausea or pain). I am sure I was loaded with pain killers, but I seriously felt great. In my previous surgical experiences, after surgery, I would usually feel pretty bad... at the very least nauseated. After this, I felt nothing bad at all. It was really amazing, and cannot explain how simple and easy it was to comprehend and just "be" after surgery (I hope that makes sense). I even felt confident that I could walk to our car on my own - but they wanted to wheel me out anyway.
Usually this is where people go straight to the hotel or home and rest/sleep. I felt so fine that we didn't even need to go straight back to the hotel... we went to a local market and picked up some things to eat... just like a normal day. Your results may vary, but I felt like barely anything even happened. I was sure to restrict aggressive movement and stuff like that... but I did not feel the NEED to go straight home and 'rest.' After we picked up some things we went back to the hotel, ate in our room, then went back out We walked around Carytown (a cool little place in Richmond), no pain, felt great. Again... your mileage may vary.
That night, the doctor called and I told him how I was doing, he asked me a few questions and talked to me some more. Of course, like always, he answered any questions I had even before I needed to asked them. You'll notice he does that a lot . Anyway, the next morning... guess what... I felt great. Again, no pain. Un-freaking-believable. I didn't even notice any swelling! Even though there probably was swelling there, the fact that I didn't notice it, must have meant that it was absolutely minimal. I wasn't even that 'sore' feeling. Didn't need any pain medication, didn't really even need any Tylenol.
We didn't really have anything to do... the post-op exam wasn't even necessary and I felt I could have went home right then... Our plane back wasn't till Tuesday, so we just hung out in Richmond for the next couple of days. Now, I couldn't run a marathon or do anything stress full on my body... but as you can probably tell about my writing... I felt great and still do.
I didn't post until today, because today was the day I took off the plastic patches and gauze that was stuck to my chest. I was able to see my nipples for the first time since the operation and the results look good and very promising. I am not going to say that everything is perfect... because it is still early and I need a full recovery to make that decision... but right now, I am stoked. Stoked that I really looks good and I know its going to look great. Stoked that I am going to n finally be able wear the clothes I want to wear, and feel fine going to the pool/beach/etc.
I am sure I forgot to mention some things that I would want you guys to know... but I have writing too much and figure it's time to stop....
Thanks again doc,
Dr. Bermant responds:
Thank you for giving us permission to post your comments.
Travel to Virginia from California for Dr. Bermant's Gynecomastia Surgery
Dr. Bermant, Mane and lindsy just got back to California and am feeling great, feel like I can do any thing. Got to remind myself to take it easy. Thank you all so much for a wonderful and easy experience it could not have worked out any better. Jane you did a great job taking care of all my paperwork for me and Dr. Bermant's surgical skills are unmatched. I couldn't be happier!
Thans again, take care.
Dr. Bermant responds:
Thank you for sharing your experineces.
Coming from California to Virginia for Dr. Bermant's Gynecomastia Surgery - the following is posted with permission of our patient:
Yet Another Dr. Bermant Success Story!
I had surgery with Dr. Bermant (about 2 weeks ago). Dr. Bermant's website is without a doubt, the most informative site on the net for Gynecomastia. The combination of positive responses on this forum and the wealth of info provided on Dr. Bermant's site made my choice very easy. Right now I'm two weeks post-op and I'm feeling great! The whole procedure of remote consultation, flying across the country, in-person consultation, surgery the next day, has gone exactly according to plan. Dr. Bermant has done an amazing job with everything and I am astounded by my already visible results! When I look at my chest in the mirror, I really do have a hard time believing what I am seeing. All these years of anger & embarrassment, then only two hours of plastic surgery completely fixes everything. Absolutely amazing! For those contemplating having the surgery done, do it! It is well worth it. Almost too easy.
I first talked with Jane, Dr. Bermant's office manager to setup the initial consultation. Jane has got to be one of the nicest people I have ever met. I've noticed that Dr. Bermant surrounds himself with the highest quality professionals, from his anesthesiologists to everyone he works with. One thing Dr. B. points out is that everything he says and does is for a reason. After all, he has been doing this for over 20 years. Dr. Bermant doesn't use drains or even regular sutures. He uses dissolvable sutures and seri-strips to help finely align and strengthen the wound. This will help improve healing. He and his staff do everything they can to make the patient feel as comfortable as possible (which they accomplished). They also answered every question I could think of (and all of the questions I call them up about).
During puberty I had those hard pea sized lumps which were very painful but eventually went away. This pushed out the areolas making room for fat to accumulate. My case of Gynecomastia was a combination of "soft gland" and a little bit of fat. When examining my chest, it was not possible to feel the glands that were there. On the day of the surgery Dr. Bermant excised both glands, used micro liposuction, and deep tissue sculpturing to contour my chest. The day after surgery, I was 99% bruise free, and had very, very minor swelling. There was a very apparent change in my new and improved chest contour. I was extremely happy! I've read that most people don't like wearing the compression vest. Personally, I don't mind it. It only took a day or two of getting use to. It's certainly not as dreadful as some make it out to be. I only used Tylenol the first four days post-op, and never felt the need to use the prescription pain medication.
On my 10th day post-op, I had a follow-up appointment by telephone to remove my two bandages protecting my areolas. This was the first time I was able to see my new flat areolas…. I was in awe! It was only ten days post-op and they looked great! Another successful operation by Dr. Bermant!
Anyone reading this review is probably noticing that all of Dr. Bermant's patients have a very similar story to tell. This should speak volumes about the skill and attention to detail that Dr. Bermant demonstrates.
My next step on the road to recovery is my scar care treatment. I can't wait to get back to the gym and continue building a body I can be proud of! Overall, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give the experience from start to finish an 11!
Thank you again Dr. Bermant & staff!
2 1/2 weeks
As of today, I am 2 ½ weeks post-op. I’ve been wearing my vest 24/7, and plan on wearing it for at least the first 4 weeks nonstop. I have been feeling well enough to do some light cardio (35 minutes on indoor stationary exercise bike). So today, I took off my vest and put on a ‘thin’ short sleeve shirt. I had no problems whatsoever exercising and I looked GREAT in the shirt! There was no bleeding or anything around the healing wound. I have also noticed that my areolas are looking a little darker. This is a good sign as far as I know. I keep making progress everyday!
Dr. Bermant responds:
Thank you for giving us permission to post your comments.
Coming from Sunnyvale, California for Dr. Bermant's Gynecomastia Surgery - the following is posted with permission of our patient:
Folks here is my experience.
I scheduled the surgery for a Sat. I took a day off from work on Fri. I packed very light ..some reading material (all tech, geek stuff!), 3 underwear, 3 sock pairs and 1 button down shirt(plus the one I had on) and 1 pair of shorts + tylenol extra strength. I flew in from California on Thurs night on a red-eye flight and got in(with a lot of suspense: almost missing my connection due to a lost ID). So I was all flustered on arrival. My consultation was at 12pm and my flight got in around 9:40am.
I picked up the rental car. Richmond airport is fairly small sized so it was straightforward to get to the rental car counter: no shuttle buses to catch ,no trains to catch: Just walked downstairs to transportation. I had booked via hotwire and the initial car they had me down for DID NOT have a power steering. I did not want to end up in a non-powersteering car post surgery so I upgraded. I drove via I-64, I295 and 10west to the fairfield inn in Chester (took around 20minutes) and checked in. By now it was around 10:30. I called up Jane to let here know I would be keeping my 12pm appt as the flights were all on time. I relaxed for about 1hr and then headed over to the doctors office. There is a sign on the right off of rt10 which says Ironbridge medical center..you turn into this complex from route 10. I got there around 12:03pm.
Jane was just as , if not more , friendly in person as she was on the phone. She gave me some paperwork to read while I waited for Dr. Bermant. Around 12:15 she walked me in to an "examination room". Then the Dr came in and asked me to stand in different angles in front of the mirror. he took some measurements and also felt the composition of the breast. I was a bit nervous...
I went thru some consent forms, pre and post surgery care instruction sheets with Jane. The Dr then came back in and we went over the forms.he showed me the types of massage: light as well as deep tissue that I would have to do post surgery. He went over all medical allergies I had. We then went to another room where he took multiple pictures from different angles , with hands over the head , behind the back on the hips etc..he did this with two different cameras. he then recorded his findings into a hand held tape recorder and answered my questions. Jane then brought in a vest which was checked for size and fitting and its' use was explained to me. He also gave me a prescription for pain killers which I had to bring back with me next day for surgery(and which fortunately I never had to use!).
I left around 3pm. Went to the wal-mart to get the prescription filled which took a half hour. I bought a bag of chocolate chip cookies, some gato-rade and bananas for after the surgery. I wanted to keep this stuff in the room just in case I was not too mobile the next day. I got back to the hotel room at around 4pm. By now I was so tired because of the red-eye flight but wanting to make sure I got some sleep later in the night I forced myself to stay awake. At 7:15 I walked over to the Dennys' next to the Fairlfield and got myself an omlette. They only had seating at the bar and smoking section and I did not want to inhale second hand smoke the night before surgery so I got it to go! back in the room I put the yellow pages book on the counter so I could reach it post surgery(came in handy for ordering pizza!) .I adjusted the laces on my shoes so that I could slip into and out of them without bending down to tie them (this I did keeping in mind the security check on the return flight) . I ate the omlette and a cookie , watched a movie , had a sip of gatorade at 11:27 pm (the pre-surgery instructions are no food and drink after 12am!) asked for a wake up call at 6:45am and went to sleep. I was too tired by now to be nervous..slept very well and got up at 6:45am
The day of the surgery:
My appt had been set for 7:30am. I arrived at 7:32 with the tylenol and the pain medication in tow. I was greeted at the window by Charles. HE asked me to take a seat. Then the anesthesiologist Nancy came by with a couple of forms and asked me about allergies and explained what the procedure would be. She said we would now wait for the Doc and jane to get in , Jane came in around 7:45 and we talked for a bit (I knew she was being polite and making small talk to ease my nervousness and it helped!). Then I went in with Nancy into the room where we had tried the vest on the day before. She asked me to put all my stuff on rack below the bed. and then to put on a gown that ties at the back. There was the smallest of pin pricks as she set me up for the IV. She did not connect it right away , just taped everything in place as we waited for a green signal from Charles that the operating room was ready. Another nurse, Shirley then came in and introduced herself. In about 5 mins we were ready to go in to the OR . I walked over while Nancy held up all the IV stuff. I lay down on the bed and then she connected the drip. The doc came in and started asking me about my favorite vacation ..I started talking about Chicago and madrid and barcelona..and then I faded out..But apparently I was talking about basketball and tiger woods and something or the other throughout! Then I realized I was walking up a " bit " later.. and I could feel them wiping up the chest and then somebody noting the time. They mentioned the time was 11:03 am..the surgery had lasted from 9:03 to 11:03. I was up and fully alert and was talking to Nancy as the doctor, charles and shirley were finishing up. The doc asked me how my chest looked and I told him what I saw :"awesome"!..he said he would ask again later cos I probably wouldn't remember cos I was still a bit drugged (aha but I remember :-) I was then wheeled out to the pre-operating room . I asked for some ginger ale which Shirley brought and a couple of crackers.
I gobbled those up. My lower lip was slight swollen as I had a canker sore going into the surgery. Nancy made some notes. Charles then came in and helped me get dressed. My nurse who would be driving me back came by. It was 11:45am and I was wheeled out to the parking lot by Shirley and then driven back to the hotel. We walked back to my room. I slept the rest of the evening on again off again. Around 3pm i asked Kathy (the nurse) to get me something to eat (dennys' again!). Then I slept some more.
Around 5:15pm she drove me back to my car at the doctors' office. By now I was feeling well enough to drive back . So far I had taken only 2 tylenol extra strength tablets. Putting on the seat belt was bit tricky but I managed. I came back and watched some Tv and ate some cookies.
*The downside is that this past week I have been feeling quite hungry and have been eating a lot more than usual since surgery..will probably gain a few pounds that I will need to lose..I hope it does not mess up the surgery results!).
Dr bermant called to follow up around 8:30ish (didn't note the exact time) Asked me to take the vest off and check out the new chest..there was NO swelling or bruising..I was quite happy with the result. He also told me to let my pain and degree of motion guide me on the resumption of physical activity. I took a couple more tylenol and slept.
After the surgery:
I had breakfast the next day at 9:30am and I checked out at 11:42 am . Drove around a bit in Richmond, walked around in Carrytown.hung out at a cafe near VCU and then went back to the airport at 3:00 pm to catch my 5:55pm flight. I had made sure the day before to keep my shoe laces loose enough that I would be able to slip into and out of the shoes without tying the laces..this fore-thought came in handy at the security check where I had to take my shoes off. Killed some time at the airport..had a glass of merlot and then got back on the flight .
It is now almost 6 days post surgery as I write this ..my motion is still limited (cant' lift the hands all the way over the head and there is still some pain when I move..very slight) . When I am sitting down it is just a general soreness. I am , however able to do pretty much all activity and got into work on Mon itself.
I have stopped the tylenol except a tablet or two when it hurts a bit (very rarely) I am still over-eating but I figure that is due to the stress of recovery. Today the vest started causing a rash so I have put on a tee-shirt underneath and then the vest over it. The dressings come off on Mon, 9 days after surgery..I have been overly cautious so far and have only been taking sponge baths. Will shower once the dressing comes off on Mon..3 more days. In a couple of weeks I can hit the gym again..have 15/20lbs to lose.
7/8 days post op: on both these days I took a shower and had no problems!
Nine days post op: today is when the bandages came off..I am still AMAZED by the results..no swelling and no bruising. The doctor called me up and walked me thru the removal. I believe I also have areolar reduction..This has definitely exceeded my expectations. Observations: the left side is healing very well...the right side is still oozing a little bit from the bottom left corner of the areola(a brown fluid)..I am hoping this will heal itself with some more time; I don't have a fever so I don't think anything is wrong/infected and am not too concerned. Dr. Bermant told me it is only natural since I've been cut it takes some time to heal. The full range of motion is not yet back but it is 80% there. The right has more motion than the left.
I will give it till the end of the week (say 2.5 weeks post op) to get into the gym to do some aerobics and lower body excercise..Also cant' wait to go out. I have a great chest , looking forward to starting indoor swimming again in a month in time for the coming summer. I've got 15/20 pounds to lose. Life will be different now , my wardrobe will expand..tee shirts will be in again and I wont feel left out in summer!! If you are thinking about getting this done you should JUST DO IT.
If you are concerned /apprehensive about traveling all the way to Virginia on your own you should not worry..if a nervous guy like me can do it so can you: you will be in good professional hands!
I want to thank Dr. Bermant , Jane and his staff for a great job and also all those folks who posted their experiences here and other boards.
Hope some of you find this description helpful ..
In the end one owes a lot in life to so many others who help one along the way! I will keep you folks posted a few months down the road on how the scars are progressing and what I am up to..
Dr. Bermant responds:
Thank you for giving us permission to post your comments about your gynecomastia surgery.
The following is a little bit about my experience I'm hoping can help others --
I was a little bit on the pudgy side during my junior high years so I figured my chest was a bit misshapen simply do to being an out of shape kid. In high school I began to do a lot of running in an effort to get into better shape, which eventually lead to me joining the school cross country and track teams. To my dismay I noticed that though I was losing weight, there was something not quite right about my chest. One summer, when I was 17, one of my buddies joked to me about my chest. To those of you with gynecomastia I don't need to go into detail what kind of things could be said in jest. Since then, there had been only a few other times since someone had said something, but each time it was a painful thing to hear. I did my best to not let it bother me, but my embarrassment over my chest only grew worse with time.
I was about 18 when I spoke to my father about it (he's a doctor so I figured he'd have an idea of what was different about my chest) and he told me about gynecomastia. He explained that trying to lose weight can help but often times a male with this problem can only have it fixed with plastic surgery. At the time, and over the next few years, plastic surgery seemed too radical an idea for me to accept. I couldn't imagine myself undergoing a plastic surgical operation to make myself look better.
Entering into my college years with my gynecomastia constantly plaguing my self confidence, I did my best to hide it. It wasn't too hard for me to do, but it was extremely frustrating for me to feel that I always had to do my best to hide it. After my freshman year I went to boot camp for the Marines so that I could be a reservist. As you can imagine, I lost a substantial amount of weight there, which certainly helped my chest, but not very much. My body was fairly skinny, yet my chest still wasn't looking right. Three years later I find myself searching the internet for more information on how I might improve my chest. While surfing the net I was thinking that mabye there were certain exercises I could do that would target my chest in a way that it would improve its look. After all the pushups I did at bootcamp you'd think I'd have given up on that idea, but I didn't give up hope, which is a good thing, because that is how I found Dr. Bermant's website.
What I found was an unbelievable amount of information concerning the problem that had plagued me since my teenage years. After looking at all the pictures and seeing the results, and learning as much as I could, my fear of plastic surgery disappeared. I was currently on active duty as a reservist because of the war, but I promised myself as soon as I was released that I'd set up a date for a consultation. I did so, and about 2 months later, here I am, writing this up. I had the surgery, and I don't think it could have gone any smoother. The staff obviously has quite a bit of experience making their patients feel at ease, and Dr. Bermant's extraordinary skill gave me a new chest that I thought would be impossible for me to have. No amount of pushups and working out/running could have made the change that he made. As far as recovering, I really felt little to no pain at all. I only took two of the prescribed painkillers, one after surgery before going to bed, and one in the morning, and I didn't take them because I felt any pain, I took them as a precaution against any possible pain. The only real discomfort I had was when I jumped up and down and stretched my arms upwards the next day when Dr. Bermant was having me demonstrate to myself "nature's way of telling you what you can and can't do." Six days later (I have just about the full range of motion of my arms) and the bandages came off. Another week later and off came the sterstrips. I was extremely surprised at how little scaring there was. It has now been four weeks after the surgery, and the scars are barely noticeable at all. You'd have to know what your looking at to notice them. Now all I need to do is lose a little more weight. Unfortunately all that weight I lost at boot camp came back, but college life will do that to you.
So in conclusion, if you suffer from the embarrasment caused by gynecomastia, don't be afraid to consider plastic surgery. The very least you can do for yourself is set up a consultation, and I assure you that Dr. Bermant's office is an excellent place to start!
Dr. Bermant responds:
Thank you for giving us permission to post your experiences.