I am very excited to present this interview I did with Dr Joseph Cruise. First a little backstory about gynecomastia. Gynecomastia, also known as ‘gyno’ is the over development of the male breast. Gynecomastia is a medical affliction estimated to affect more than 60% of men in some form or another throughout life. It can develop early or later and usually results from a combination of unbalanced hormones, stress and body fat gain. Few men seek treatment for the condition and mostly suffer in silence afraid to remove their shirt in public. The condition often is associated with devastating emotional and social trauma. Dr Cruise is recognized as THE global leader in the removal of gyno in men. He has performed close to 2000 surgeries and his track record in helping men recover from this condition is unparalleled. There is no reason men should suffer in silence anymore from gynecomastia.
“Gynecomastia is more than a mere aesthetic concern.” “The emotional and psychological effects of this condition run deep and strip away self confidence like a cancer.” It’s scary how unknown and mysterious this condition is.” I feel a sense of obligation to get this out in the open and help as many men affected by this condition.” “There is a psychological component to this that cannot and should not be overlooked by anyone. The world is more concerned about hiding it than learning about how to fix it.”
I was a patient of Dr Cruise having gyno removed from my right breast in May of 2016. The surgery was performed as an out-patient procedure under local anesthesia and done in less than 70 minutes total. His work was spectacular. I was back to work in 4 days, and back in the gym in less than a month. I could not possibly recommend anyone more strongly. I will have much more about my surgery, recovery and overall insights in a future blog.
Before Surgery After Surgery
Here is the full interview.
1. Can you give us a brief background about yourself (where you were born, how it was like growing up, education, where you lived and where you live now, etc.)?
Born and grew up in Michigan, validictorian of high school, merit scholorship for college, began a lawn cutting business at 18 which I did throughout college and med school. One of the very few who graduated from med school with some money in the bank without daddy’s help. However, he was the one fixing all the broken down lawn mower’s while I was in internship, etc.
2. As a Medical Doctor, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, you have a busy daily existence. How did everything get started for you and what prompted your decision to follow these paths?
Plastic surgery was always a dream. It is by far one of, if not the, most difficult specialties to get into. I was fortunate but it took a long time. I love not being beholden to anyone or anything except my patients. I have a strong awareness of how important reputation and customer service is. I also have a strong business background which has allowed me to develop my dedicated protocols and process and apply them to an audience that extends across the globe – literally. I strongly feel the gynecomastia has been treated with such shame that it creates issue far beyond aesthetic. The emotional scars associated with gynecomastia is ridiculous. And because it has this “taboo” surrounding it, those who suffer with it cannot discuss it or even seek treatment.
3. Can you tell us more about your surgical business and how it breaks off into various disciplines-Gyno-Plastic Surgery for the Head and Body etc?
Cruise Plastic Surgery is fortunate to be one of the busiest practices in Southern California. Doing a lot of anything allows you to get better at it. Being OCD, it allows me to create protocols, analyze then improve the protocols. Because I do significant volume of all procedures, people often ask me which is my favorite. The reality is, it is not the procedure but the effect the procedure has. Nothing excites me more than to dramatically improve the quality of someone’s life. This cuts across all procedures. However, I have become a world authority in gynecomastia because gynecomastia represents a rare mix of aesthetic challenges combined with emotional damage not seen in other procedures. Correcting these two critical aspects of a boy/man’s life is undesirable. Then, to add the fact that there are so few other surgeons willing to carry this torch. I consider it both an honor and a duty to evolve gynecomastia perception and treatment to where it belongs.
4. Talk about the Gynecomastia issue in society today. It seems like Gynecomastia is an unrecognized epidemic in men of all age ranges and body styles? What is the best way to increase awareness of the issue?
It is an epidemic. Food, weight, fat content, Hormones in food, more recognized, people able to discuss (albeit, usually only on the internet). Best way to get the best info to everyone who needs it is via high level, unbiased, gynecomastia dedicated websites. Very few. Gyncomastia.org is most common. I am involved in GynecomastiaGuide.MD, which shows gynecomastia like it has never been seen before. It shows progression images, videos, surgical visits as they happen to allows patients to see more than a biased article or a Before and After which only represent a surgeon’s best work on ideal patients. GG.MD is what is needed to shine unbiased, state of the art input about this very sensitive and under-represented issue.
5. As TRT becomes more and more mainstream, how much do you believe the Gyno situation will worsen?
TRT, as you know, is responsible T replacement. It gets people back to their optimal levels. Optimal T levels should not increase gyne. In fact, the improved T:E ration may help. However, there is the sub set of men who are so sensitive to T and its conversion to DHT that they will experience mild gland growth. The positives, however, are so overwhelming that the tradeoff is so worth it. Even for the body builders who I treat so often; patients that abuse anabolics with total disregard for how they are doing it and what is really happening to their body, even these patient’s get a “free pass” of sorts considering that once the gland has been properly removed, it can never come back. They will damage their body in other ways but gynecomastia is not one of them.
6. As a Medical Doctor/Surgeon do you try and maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle? If so-what does your daily diet look like? What about your exercise training routine? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)
Fortunately, my wife became heavily involved in organic food and has shown me “the light” about what I am putting into my body. I am fortunate in that I have a physique that is very forgiving. I have stayed within 8 lbs of 195 since I graduated from high school if you take away the few years that I was heavily into body building and got up to 225lbs. I actually wasn’t a real body builder, I was just doing it to get girls. I must have worked because it has become engrained into my life style. My work outs are no longer for mass. 3 children in 3 years curtails many things but it does make you realize that you need to be able to keep up with them. Operating so much is physically demanding, but only on a few body parts. I need to exercise to maintain. I limit my workouts to 30 minutes 4-5 days a week in addition to kids. I focus on shoulders, chest, biceps, lower back and running/rowing for 15 minutes.
7. In addition to your diet and training, do you believe in supplements? What about specific Anti-Aging Medications? If so, which kinds do you use with your patients?
Being a leader in gynecomastia lands me in the middle of many body maintenance/building conversations because so many of my patients are involved. Plus getting older and a father of 3, I realize I can not take my body for granted. I am fortunate enough to have 16 ounces of veggie/fruit shake handed to me along with a protein drink for my ride to work every single day. This veggy shake has about 5 or 6 servings of veggies blended into one drink. Diet is the most important aspect. Fortunately, I have someone to buy, store and prepare it for me because my time is so limited.
8. Talk about your Wife and /Family. How supportive and accommodating are they to your hectic Surgical lifestyle?
As I mentioned, my wife Jola leads the way from a nutritional standpoint. Together we have learned to value of nutrition and how important it is to show by example to our children
9. As a parent and having multiple business interests, how do you make time to juggle everything? Where does your motivation come from in taking time continue to build other revenue streams?
Once you climb a mountain, you realize there is no farther to go upward without some other type of vehicle. (I know, corny analogy). As I mentioned before, I have some OCD tendencies that make place virtually all my procedures, patient interactions, inventory, etc into protocols and processes. This is what GynecomastiaGuilde and its parent company MedGuide is all about. It is such a waste that the greatest minds (and hands) in plastic surgery go through their career without outlining how they achieved their superior results. GynecomastiaGuide and MedGuide (to all procedures) is a culmination of placing these surgeons processes into a highly structured infra-structure and allowing others to evaluate, emulate and ideally to improve. This continued process is necessary to achieve optimal results by surgeons that, otherwise, may not be able to provide even average results. It also serves as place for patients to outline their surgical journey in real time. This avoids seeing reviews of patients who are either really happy or really upset. There needs to be a prospective site that shows a cross section of all patients with the ability to search for any type of patient. Particularly, ones that are very similar to the user.
10.Do you want your children to follow in your Medical/Surgical footsteps?
I want my children to be able to do exactly what they want to do. I want them to have the examples and advice that I didn’t have that would have got me where I am a decade quicker. Medicine particularly plastic surgery is amazing. But it requires a certain personality and a huge amount of dedication. I know for sure, that I want my children to have a business/IT background to allow them to market whatever profession they go into. In the end, you will always have to sell yourself. I have been working on the Med Guide infrastructure for over 5 years and will continue throughout my career and hopefully my children will take this infrastructure, combine it with the incredible work ethics and examples of the people I surround myself with and apply it to create something that will make them fulfilled and happy. Perhaps, even change the world for the better.
11. As a Surgeon, what advice would you give someone (at any age) who wants to transition their life towards a more healthy and fit lifestyle, but doesn’t know where to start?
You have to start with the mind. You are paralyzed if you do not have goals and dreams. However, dreams are meaningless without a clear pathway to get there, proper planning and massive action. Achieving high level thought and being able to follow up with the massive action required to set the wheels in motion requires energy. The brains chews up incredible amounts of energy. This energy needs to provided through training, nutrition and mindset. As a successful surgeon and business man the one thing I can say for sure is to surround yourself with the right people and seek out those who do what you do better than anyone else.
12. What is next for you? What are your future business plans and goals with GynoMD? Perhaps a book? Maybe a collaboration with TRT Revolution?
My goals and future plans are based on the reputation we have built on top of the content infra-structure we are creating. In the short term, it applies to optimizing our current office, outlining and analyzing protocols. We will purchase a multi-speciality aesthetic building in Newport Beach within 6 months and implement the efficiencies we have identified and apply them to all specialities within the Building (Facial Plastic Surgery, Body, Breast, Nose, Hair transplantation, Cosmetic Dentistry, Skin Care, perhaps anti-aging) in parallel we will enlist other high level gynecomastia surgeons in all major US cities to utilizes and implement their own version of the protocols and progression Gynecomastia Guide to make it a universal resource. Surgcons part of the Franchise will work within Aesthetic Guide Building utilizing Building efficiencies. Other surgeons can still benefit from the protocols and safety measures put in place. The POC can be utilized for other procedures as it does create an environment of commrodary, safety, and analysis. Thus, other Franchises can be created on the Gynecomastia Guide POC. In my heart, I have a special place for Breast Cancer, the efficiencies and the pathway it outlines for patients going through the many different choices presented to them allows both them and their surgeon to create a more informed, visiually represent, analytically assessed choice.
13.Where can we find you on the Internet? How can folks find out more about working with you?
The pre-dominant site for gynecomastia is LAgynecomastia.org. It ranks in the top 10 nationally and is the most visited gynecomastia site in Southern California. GynecomastiaGuide.MD and its sister sites FaceGuide, BreastGuide, NoseGuide will all follow within the next year under the parent site MedGuide.MD. We specially purchased the domain MD as it represents a purely medical site.