What is the recovery time like after male breast reduction or gynecomastia surgery? What's the healing process like during recovery?
Male Breast Reduction Recovery
Doctor Answers (29)
After gynecomastia surgery you may experience mild to moderate discomfort. Swelling and some bruising are normal after surgery and will start to subside in a few weeks. You may return to work with in 7- 10 days after surgery. Strenuous activities should be avoided for the first 2-3 weeks to ensure that you heal at your full potential.
Recovery after Gynecomastia Surgery in Los Angeles
Recovery after Gynecomastia Surgery or Male Breast Reduction varies depending on patient's health conditions, surgery techniques, etc. In Los Angeles, and in my experience, most patients take about a week off from work after male breast reduction. they can resume exercise and regular activities within a week. They would not feel 100% for many months afterwards.
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Gynecomastia involves treatment of excess glandular tissue, adipose (fat) tissue and sometimes redundant skin. Depending on the extent of the surgery (liposuction with or without ultrasonic assistance with or without direct glandular excision with or without skin removal) recovery can vary termendously.
In the average case, pain is tolerable and requires medication for the first 3-4 days, sutures are usually absorbable. Patients can typically return to desk work within 3-4 days as well as driving when off pain medications. Compression garments are worn for about 3 weeks. low impact activities can resume at 2-3 weeks with gentle upper extremity progressive resistance excercises commencing at 3 weeks up to 6 weeks.
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Male Breast Reduction Recovery
Recovery Time After A Male Breast Reduction - How Long Is It And What Happens?
Recovery time for liposuction of the chest is normally 5 days out of the gym, and 3 weeks before one can go swimming again. Usually, it is appropriate to stay home for a couple days to get off any pain medication before one returns to driving one's car. The incision for the liposuction is in the lateral chest area and is sutured below the surface so that there are no stitches to remove.
If gland tissue is removed, this is done through a small incision just at the edge of the areola. The sutures come out over a 7 day period, and one is normally back in the gym within 7-10 days.
Liposuction of the chest as well as gland excision both lead to scar tissue which responds well to a combination of DMSO and ultrasound (the kind physical therapists use for sore muscles). A vest or tight rash guard is worn for approximately one month. If this is done religiously 24/7, no surgical garments are required after that.
Normally, at about 6 weeks post operatively, a small bump of scar tissue occurs just under the nipple. This can be eliminated with one or two injections of a corticosteroid.
All in all, gynecomastia surgery recovery is about a 6-8 week project. As a sidebar issue, I always send the gland from this surgery to pathology since male breast cancer is a reality and should always be checked.
Recovery Process Following Gynecomastia Surgery
The recovery process following male breast reduction surgery is very dependent upon the type of procedure performed. When liposuction is performed recoveries are usually shorter then when excision of breast tissue is performed.
Following excision of breast tissue, patients usually have drains in place for approximately a week. These help to minimize fluid collections beneath the skin. Patients also wear compression garments following both excision of breast tissue and liposuction. Compression garments help minimize swelling, hematoma formation and pain in the post-operative period. Generally, compression garments are worn for four to six weeks following surgery.
Patients are allowed to resume most normal activities within a week of surgery, but strenuous activities and heavy lifting are not resumed for at least six weeks.
It’s important to remember that every patient is unique and because of this, post-operative management is frequently modified based on the specifics of the patients situation.
Male Breast Reduction
There is the methodology of performing only liposuction to reduce some of the thickness and fat content, allowing shrinkage and causing the skin to contract. This can result in a good outcome if the patient’s skin is taut and elastic. If the patient has a fair amount of loose skin, then sometimes this needs to be cut away and resected. The recovery is essentially the same with either method. It is a procedure that is very well tolerated by men, and usually requires 7-10 days to recover for any discomfort. Patients will usually return to the gym and other activities in about two weeks. This procedure can provide long lasting powerful benefits with noticeable results in clothing. Most of the time the treatment of preference is liposuction, however, cases where there is extreme skin redundancy then skin excision can be an option. All the best –Dr. Cohen
After male breast reduction surgery, you will have a moderate amount of drainage from the liposuction incisions. You will need to rest for the first 2 or 3 days, but most people are up and about shortly after surgery. We generally recommend our patients take off 5-7 days from work. Heavy lifting and exercising should be avoided in the first 2 weeks. Your body will tell you when you are ready to get back into your regular exercise routine. You will need to wear support garments for approximately 4 to 6 weeks after male breast reduction surgery. This helps in the attachment of the skin back to the underlying tissues after liposuction and reduces the chance of fluid collection under the skin. During this interval, you can remove the garment to shower and rest your skin for short periods of time. There will be some numbness associated with the surgery. This numbness usually persists for about 4 to 6 weeks. Minor lumps and irregularities are common after liposuction. These irregularities are related to accumulations of fluid in certain areas of the subcutaneous fatty layer of the skin, as a result of either infiltration of the fluid or as a result of the trauma associated with liposuction. Irregularities even out after the first 2 or 3 weeks after the surgery. Minor asymmetry between the two sides of the body can be seen after the liposuction. This, too, is related to accumulations of fluid or trauma related to the operation. These asymmetries usually resolve within 2 to 3 weeks after the surgery.
Surgery for pure glandular (mild) gynecomastia, usually consisting of direct excision of breast tissue directly behind the areola, is performed on an outpatient basis in the office procedure room under local anesthesia and oral sedation.
Treatment of moderate to severe gynecomastia is performed in an operating room under deep IV sedation or general anesthesia. Patients who fly in or drive more than two hours to the surgical facility stay at the surgery center overnight (if indicated for patients having multiple procedures) or at a hotel convenient to the office so that they may be evaluated in the office on the first postoperative day.
Patients wear a postoperative compression vest around-the-clock (except for bathing and garment washing) for the first two weeks following surgery, and for half the day (either daytime or nighttime) for an additional two weeks. Many patients find the garment to be quite comfortable and wear it for longer than the prescribed amount of time, as it helps to control edema (swelling) and enhances outward appearance in a snug-fitting shirt.
In some cases a surgical drain is left in place to remove fluid that may accumulate in the space where breast tissue is removed. The suction bulb that collects fluid can be concealed under clothing. The drain usually is removed within the first few days following surgery.
Most gynecomastia surgery patients take one to three days off from work, depending on the extent of their surgery. Patients with minimal, retro-areolar gynecomastia are allowed to return to vigorous physical activity about two weeks postoperatively, while patients undergoing more extensive procedures are required to wait about four to six weeks
Recovery after male breast surgery
I have been using a new technique called Aquashape, a water-assisted liposuction technique. Using this approach, I have many men who have no bruising and minimal swelling and have returned to work the next day. They can exercise as soon as the swelling resolves, which usually takes a few days. Everyone is different in their healing.