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Thread: Thinking of surgery for gynecomastia - but i'm a para

  1. #1

    Thinking of surgery for gynecomastia - but i'm a para

    Hi folks!
    I have been reading these forums for years; it is such a great place for information, best SCI site on the web! I have never had reason to register though, but some questions are buzzing around in my head that need some answers or advice. So here I am registered and putting a question to all the great sages of SCI wisdom out there.
    I have been a c6/c7 self-caring quad (or poor man’s paraplegic as I usually describe myself). I was injured 13 years ago, and have got on with life reasonably fine, but have the same gripes and troubles as most of you on here, still eagerly awaiting some good news on the cure/treatments front.
    In the meantime, I have since my teens, suffered from Gynecomastia (male breasts/ man boobs, moobs, call it what you will ), it has alas, always affected my self confidence as a man , and I’m sure because of it I never reached my full potential as an individual, as it sort of zaps the zest out of life.
    However, growing up I had the outlook that there were worse things to be suffering with, so I put it to the back of my mind and got on with life!
    So I got on with life, and somewhere down the line playing sports, bust my neck.
    While recovering and going through rehab etc I have to admit that it wasn’t high up on the list of life’s priorities, but life seems to have settled somewhat now and so, here I am 13 years later still looking at this ugly embarassing condition as I get up ever morning, and wondering, can I get this fixed?
    I feel pretty depressed at having to spend my life in a chair, but this condition on top of it as well sort of doubles up the apathy, I try and get on with life, but unlike SCI there are actually surgical procedures that can reduce the effects of Gynecomastia, therefore I have a chance perhaps of getting rid of one complaint, that may give me the confidence boost I need to deal with my disability a little better. As it is, between everything, I’m stuck in a rut and going nowhere fast. Not that I think that even if I had this treatment life would suddenly be wonderful again.
    Do a bit of searching on the net, youtube etc and there are hundreds of websites and surgeons offering to rectify a problem, which is pretty well “treatable” nowadays. So, go ahead and get it sorted, what am I worrying about? Well in an un-injured state, I’d go and find a good surgeon tomorrow, BUT, I’m a self-caring paraplegic, which sort of makes things complicated, what are the risks?
    As well as the ‘normal’ risks for the able bodied, with a paraplegic such as myself there’s the low blood pressure, the risk of getting pressure sores on the surgery table, autonomic dysreflexia, if I’m told I can’t lift things after such surgery for a week or two, that’s pretty much a huge issue for a person who does their own bowel routine transfers, washing dressing etc etc
    I’m thinking of contacting some centres that do this type of surgery but I’m honestly perplexed at what kind of questions to ask and what kind of problems could be ahead for me as a paraplegic.
    So I am just wondering whether any other guys on here have had or ever considered having this kind of surgery, any feedback would be welcome.

  2. #2
    Senior Member BeeBee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Washington, D.C.
    There have been a couple of discussions of women who have had augmentations done, post SCI. Many of the post care issues would be similar, if you look around for those posts.

  3. #3
    Thanks BeeBee, I will have a look, I am very much in the dark about it all, half wanting to have this done and half wanting to try and forget it because of the paraplegic issues.

  4. #4
    If it has bothered you for this long, I think you should have it done. Sometimes insurance will even pay for it, it is worth a shot anyways. I don't know what you know about the procedure but typically it involves a very small incision around the areola and then liposuction of the excess tissue. If your case is severe, they may have to remove sagging skin, in which case the procedure becomes a bit more complicated...... and more expensive. But then it is also more likely insurance will cover it, I presume, although some carriers may have a policy of denying the procedure period. I really don't know, I am not an insurance expert, LOL.

    My daughter had a breast reduction, insurance covered it. I had a cosmetic procedure, sagging upper eyelids, insurance did not. Neither one of us regret it. My procedure gave me a real boost in confidence. And people told me I didn't look like I was falling asleep all the time when I was talking to them. It was worth every penny. If it will make you feel better, go for it!!!!

  5. #5
    Thanks for your reply dunwawry. I think if I had this unwanted tissue removed, then yes, there would be some sagging, so I guess there'd be some extra cutting and stiching involved. I could probably cope with 1-2 days in bedrest after, but being self caring and doing my own pressure releiving turns etc, I couldn't hang around in bed too long, it's a dilemma, and I don't know how long i'd have to be inactive after, and theres the posibility of infections etc. I really need to ask the experts who do these things.
    I am going to wait untill 2008 before aproaching some places, and hopefully lose a few pounds in the meantime, I know i'd feel a lot better if I had this done succsesfully, a bit of surgical sacrifice for a more confident future.

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