Affordable Gynecomastia Surgery Offered at a Teaching Hospital: Good Idea?

There is a teaching hospital in my city which offers affordable plastic surgery, where I had a consultation with a resident who I really liked. If I choose to have surgery there, the resident would be supervised by a very well-known, board-certified NYC plastic surgeon during the surgery.

Are the results that one gets from this type of setup comparable to those you would get in a non-teaching setting? Are there greater rates of complications when (supervised) residents perform your surgery?

Doctor Answers 9

Having surgery at a teaching institute

There are risks associated with any surgery. You have to weigh the pro's and con's of having the procedure performed at a teaching institute.  Ask to see before and after photos from the surgeon who will perform your surgery as well as the proctor - Ask who will actually be performing the surgery and their experience with this specific procedure. If you get this information and are comfortable proceeding - go for it! Residents have to learn somehow and this is a good way for them to do so - but if you are concerned about your results and don't want someone without experience working on you, then you should go and consult with a board certified plastic surgeon.  It's your call -- just make sure you have realistic expectations if you go with the teaching hospital for your surgery.

Go fo it

This type of program have been around for many years.  It provides you with a way to afford surgery and it helps teach the resident how to perform the surgery.  This can be a win-win.  The surgery will be closely supervised by an experienced plastic surgeon.

However, if you are looking another approach with a seasoned plastic surgeon, the this cost 6 to 10 thousand dollar.  You must way out the risk and benefits.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Gynecomastia surgery at a teaching hospital?

This is a difficult question to answer.  I think it comes down to the surgeon's experience who will be performing the surgery.  In a teaching environment I think that this equals the resident's + the attending physican's experience with the procedure.  Also, I think the level of supervision is very important.  Ask if the attending physician will be present for the entire procedure and if they will actually be "scrubbed" in the case.  If the attending has experience with gynecomastia surgery and will be actively involved in the case your chances of obtaining a good result are maximized.

Surgery in teaching hospitals

Believe it or not, I would ask the resident to show you some of his or her before and after pictures.  If none are provided, you are taking a slight risk with your results, but for the most part patients are very pleased at teaching hospitals.

Affordable Gynecomastia Surgery Offered at a Teaching Hospital: Good Idea?

Interesting prespective on resident vs attending surgery. The resident is learning while the attending surgeon is teaching, that is why the fee difference. Thus the low complication rate is still very low but just by the force of experience there can be risks. 

Affordable Gynecomastia Surgery Offered at a Teaching Hospital: Good Idea?

Having surgery at a training institution is a perfectly good option.  Your surgery is performed under the supervision of an experienced attending surgeon.  Most plastic surgery resident have spent many years training as general surgeons or ENT surgeons and therefore are already experienced surgeons to some degree.  Good luck and be safe.

John T. Nguyen, MD, FACS, FICS
Double Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

John Nguyen, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Affordable Gynecomastia Surgery Offered at a Teaching Hospital

The difficulty in answering this question is we do not know your medical history nor the complexity of the case. For more straightforward cases, this can be a cost effective solution. For a more complex surgery, choose an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

It is all about experience

There is no substitution to experience.In this case of the attending physician that may or may not have experience with certain cases of gynecomastia.So always ask who is going to be the supervising attending surgeon,and see how much experience he has with gynecomastia surgery,especially the complex cases ,and what kind of surgery he intend to perform.You may get lucky,but you have to do your homework.

Mordcai Blau, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Teaching hopsital

At teaching hospitals the residents often do most of the work.  However, that doesn't mean you won't get a good result.  The attending physician should be present for key portions and oversee the result.

Tim Neavin, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.