On the latest season of Bravo TV’s “Newlyweds: The First Year”, viewers saw celebrity hair stylist Brandon Liberati and his husband, fitness expert/author Craig Ramsay, deal with Brandon’s gynecomastia surgery. Caused by an estrogen and testosterone hormonal imbalance, gynecomastia (the swelling of the breast tissue in boys and men) affects up to 65% of middle-aged and older men. Zwivel’s Susan Hornik talked to Brandon about his decision to undergo surgery and what it entailed.
SH: Take me through the whole experience.
BL: My procedure was a little more extensive than most. Along with my gynecomastia surgery, I chose to have liposuction of the lower stomach and flanks, and a fat transfer to my face. I extensively researched doctors that were known for doing gynecomastia surgery, and came across some really bad ones. I wanted the best if I was going to have this done!
There were only two doctors that I found that had before and after photos, and testimonials that resonated with what I was looking for. One doctor was on the East Coast and Joseph T Cruise, MD was in Newport Beach, so I called his office and booked a consultation. His staff was so gentle and kind with me from the very beginning. Joseph T Cruise, MD told me what kind of results I could realistically expect. I was filming a hit reality show on Bravo at the time, and he answered every concern I had about the surgery and healing process. Right away I knew he was the doctor for me.
I scheduled the surgery that day and had the operation done a couple months later. I had to have my surgery at his surgical center under general anaesthesia, but most surgeries are done in his office with local anaesthesia. It all happened exactly the way Joseph T Cruise, MD had described it. I did everything he and his nurses instructed me to do regarding post care and healed quickly, without any scarring. The results are beyond my expectations, it truly changed my life.
SH: How long did it take to recover?
BL: Recovery was much faster than I expected. My case was more extensive due to lack of skin elasticity and my age, so it took a little longer than a more common case, but I was back in the gym after four weeks and fully recovered after twelve weeks.
SH: Why did you decide to get it done?
BL: Gynecomastia was something that had tormented me since I was a kid. I was teased constantly about it growing up. As an adult, I learned to live with it by limiting my social experiences and concealed my condition by only wearing clothes of a certain cut or fabric. I have even gone as far as taping my chest down.
It was when I found lumps in my chest that my body image insecurities became a greater concern over potential health risks. In my family we have a long history of double mastectomies and breast cancer, including male breast cancer. My lumps were only fibrous and my pathology reports were benign, but that’s what actually made me seek out solutions.
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