I am writing this review for the benefit of anyone suffering from Gynaecomastia (male breast) and is thinking of undergoing a surgery for it. I have myself been a patient of gynecomastia and have undergone a surgery (5 years ago). However the doctor who performed this operation on me ( Dr. Anup Dhir, working in Apollo Hospital, New Delhi ) did not do a good job . He did not remove the glandular tissue completely and sucked out more fat (adipose tissue) from one side. This has left a visible asymmetry and puffiness in my pectoral area.
In fact after the surgery when I regained my consciousness, I told him that I could still feel the glandular tissue by my fingers. However he told me that it was my illusion and that he had removed glandular tissue completely from both the breasts. He added that it must be the pipes to remove haematoma (fluid) that I can feel. However that was not the case and even after 5 years I still have that glandular tissue which Dr. Anup Dhir should have removed.
As you know, Gynaecomastia is not a fatal disease but an embarrassing condition. All the time you remain obsessed with your unnaturally protruding pecs ( or tits ). This surgery performed by Dr Anup Dhir did bring lot of psychological relief. With clothes the condition is not that prominent anymore. However the imperfection in surgery ( asymmetry and puffiness ) is clearly visible bare chested.
The lessons I learnt
1) We Indians have this habit of equating Doctor with God. These days doctors are more of businessmen . Never trust your doctor blindly or believe in everything that he tells you. Ask questions and never stop probing till you get a satisfactory answer. If possible, take a second opinion or a third before going ahead with a particular surgeon. Remember, it is better to get a perfect surgery done in the first attempt. The revision surgery costs you more and has less chances of giving the desired results.
2) Always keep a record of the receipts and estimates that the doctor provides you. If he botches up the surgery you can go to a Consumer Court with these proofs or ask him to do a revision surgery free of charge. Make sure that he includes post-operative charges in the estimates.
3) Clearly ask him what results you can expect after he performs the surgery. Though no doctor would do that but do ask him if he can give in writing the result he is promising. See what he has to say.
Having learnt my lessons the harder way, today I visited another cosmetic surgeon based in New Delhi ( Dr. JB Ratti, from Vital Clinic, South Extension, New Delhi ) for consultation on the possibility of a revision surgery. I had done a google search and his website looked impressive ( with all the photos of past patients and glands removed ).
On visiting his clinic, I found that it is a small private setup. Nothing like a hospital or a clinic but looked more like a house turned into a makeshift clinic.
My weight and height were recorded and I was made to pay a consultation fee of Rs 500/- beforehand. Please note, no receipt was given to me for this payment of Rs 500/- ( may be to evade tax or the responsibility)
Conversation with Dr JB Ratti started on a positive note as he examined my chest (very casually though). I explained him what I wanted to achieve through this surgery and my apprehensions. He listened patiently. When I started asking him questions as to how he is going to replenish the excessive fat removed from my previous surgery he could not give a convincing answer. Told me to have faith in the doctor. My next question was if he is going to use the Canula Knife to suck out the tissue or remove the tissue using his scalpel. To this Doctor Sahab became defensive and personal. Called me "Confused" and interfering with the doctor's procedure.
In todays time when we have RTI (right to information) is it a sin for a patient to know what his doctor is going to do to him. These doctors give fancy names to their techniques "like Tumescent Lipoplasty " to impress patients and charge hefty fees but are not ready to explain what it really is and how it is different from the regular procedure (which costs half the price)
In fact his much renowed Tumescent techniques was nothing different from the usual procedure ( other than the fact it was performed under local anesthesia by injecting an anesthetic fluid ). Upon further probing he told me that even in this so called "latest" technique, he would be required to make a Semicircular cut in the areolar region (just like Dr Anup Dhir did 5 years ago ) and poke inside the Canula ( a needle ) from various angles to suck out the fat and tissues.
So what is so special about it that I should expect a better result from my last surgery .
The procedure remains almost the same other than the way of putting me to sleep (or keeping awake)
Honestly speaking, I so desperately wanted to get rid of this Gynaecomastia ( devil's lump ) that I was ready to ignore all these doubts and get along with the surgery. I asked him to fix up the date for the surgery to which he happily complied. As a formality, I asked him to give me a printed estimate of the cost involved in the surgery. To my surprise he categorically refused ( citing the reason that it is against his Company Policy ).
In fact he did not even want to give me the rough paper he had used to quote me a hand written figure of Rs 50 thousand for the surgery (with no break up ) and 7 thousand extra for compression garment and blood test. He insisted that I should note it down in my own hand writing.
Needless to say, he refused to give the cost estimate of the surgery on his Vital Clinic letter head. He said that only the final bill will be issued after the surgery is performed (though a part of the payment was required to be made in advance).
It does not take lot of intelligence to guess what Dr. Ratti was upto. He was playing safe. In case something goes wrong during or after the operation then I ( or my family ) would not have any evidence against this doctor.
I thanked the doctor for his time and left his clinic.
Dr J B Ratti 's (Vital Clinic, New Delhi) opaque business practices failed to inspire confidence in me. It is hard to let anyone cut you open if you cannot trust that person.
However I really cannot comment on his prowess as a cosmetic surgeon. He may be really good for he claimed to have performed 2000 such surgeries in the past and had photos as well to back his claim. However, now after meeting him in person I would think 2000 times before going under his scalpel.
If you have been suffering from this condition called Gynaecomastia ( male breast ) then a good surgery can transform your life. But do not ignore the paper work.