It’s been almost 3 years since my surgery and I’m still doing great. No HS. Surgery cured me, and believe me, it was a horrible, digusting thing that made me miserable and disgusted with myself. I wish I had before surgery pics to show how awful it was, but I was too embarrassed to have any taken, even with the privacy of self timers and digital cameras on the anonymous internet. That is something I regret. My surgeon though DID take pics, and it was the most shameful and difficult thing, to raise my arms and let him do that. My husband at the time hadn’t even ever seen my armpits, and we’d been together for 5 years! How can you hide your armpits for FIVE years you might ask? Yes we had sex, wild, and often, thank you, so it wasn’t due to lack of intimacy. It was due to the fact that if you really want to, you can keep your arms down when it counts, and you just have to scale back on the hanging from the chandelier intimacy.
So I get questions about how to find a plastic surgeon. I can’t say I have a formula for it, because my “score!!” only had to happen once. But for what it is worth, this is what I did. Maybe it will work for you, too.
1. Go to the American Association of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.aaps1921.org/ Look for surgeons in your area. I concentrated on ones who did burn recontruction and other more “humanitarian” work, not just boob jobs and tummy tucks. Not that I would be opposed to some gratis aesthetic work mind you, but because I thought perhaps one who was more altruistic in his skillset would be more likely to have heard of HS. I can’t say this did or didn’t work, as my surgeon turned out to make his bread and butter (and maintain a verrrry nice office in a Snotty Part Of Town) off of nose jobs and face lifts, enough to make any Real Housewife swoon.
2. Cross reference these surgeons with those on your insurance list, as this is the end all be all of yes or no to your surgeon. Viva la Freedom of Choice, within PPO guidelines of course.
3. Cold call every one you would be willing to drive to and ask the nurse go between if your Dr has ever heard of HS and has experience doing surgery. Don’t expect the nurse to know what HS is. Hidrawhat? I heard that often. Spell it, nicely of course, and ask her to please ask her Dr. if he has heard of it. Be prepared to keep a notebook with notes, because you’re gonna log more calls than a telemarketer with a new crop of numbers that aren’t on the Do Not Call List.
4. If you have choices (lucky you! You must live in California), you can cross reference those who are close to you and you like with their credentials. I did this, though it was maybe overkill. I wanted a doc who had been around the block a few times. A Dr Phil, this ‘aint my first rodeo surgeon. At the American Medical Association website, http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/education-careers/becoming-physician/medical-licensure/state-medical-boards.page you can see lots of important things about your potential Dr. Like when they got their license (last week?) and where? (Community college, or a Cracker Jack Box?) I thought this was important. Also, I wanted a guy who was old enough to have experience, but not some ornery, crotchety old man who was set in his ways and not up to learning new procedures or practices. Old enough to know better, and young enough to do it again, as I like to say.
4. Keep trying. This will take legwork. You will spend a lot of time on the phone. No one is going to do the work for you (except for the fact that I have done a lot of it for you here lol!) and you have to take responsibility for your health and be your own advocate.
Think, how badly do you want this? How willing are you to make your own destiny? Will you persevere? It took me months. Good luck. HTH.