Male Breast Reduction Recovery

What is the recovery time like after male breast reduction or gynecomastia surgery? What's the healing process like during recovery?

Doctor Answers 35

Recovery Time after Male Breast Reduction Depends on Procedure Performed

The length recovery and type of garment use after male breast reduction is determined by the particular type of surgery performed.

Length of Recovery:

For the first 2 weeks following all types of surgery, I recommend that patients avoid heavy lifting or straining in order to minimize the chance for post-op bleeding.   After that time, full activity as tolerated is allowed for all procedures.

 Full healing strength returns only after 6 weeks, so heavy body contact should be minimized until that point.

Garment Use:

Liposuction: of a “compression garment” for 4 weeks is usually enough to treat post-op swelling and decrease the chance for blood and fluid collections.

Gland Excision: surgical removal of the “gland” will require a bulky gauze dressing with some compression for a week to 10 days.

Gland Excision and Liposuction: a bulky dressing for 7 days along with a compression garment for one month.

Formal Breast Reduction: compression with ace wraps and a gauze wrap is worn one week.  With free nipple grafts, a “tie-over” dressing is essential to prevent bleeding beneath the graft and is removed only after 7-10 days.

Custom compression-type vests offer a better alternative to "Under Armour"- type compression shirts since they are fitted based on the patient’s measurements and the pressure can be adjusted.   Also, custom vests are firmer and tend to wrinkle less than the store bought ones.

I hope that is a helpful answer. Good luck!

Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

10413 NE 37th Circle
Kirkland, WA 98033

Recovery After Gynecomastia Surgery


In my practice, most patients return to work between 3-7 days. I have them wear a compression vest for 4-6 weeks depending on the procedure performed. I also limit their strenuous exercise for the same time frame but start them on stretching exercises around week 4. Patients typically recover relatively quickly as this is not a very painful surgery.


Dr. Dadvand

Babak Dadvand, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

9201 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90069

Gynecomastia recovery

Generally speaking, pain will subside in a few days.  You will likely have drains in place for less than a week. These are removed in office without pain.   You will be wrapped for several weeks to allow skin to tighten.  This is a critical component of your care.  Wrap, wrap, wrap!  You can return to exercise in a few weeks. 

Tim Neavin, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

9615 Brighton Way
Beverly Hills, CA 90210


After surgery the patients are asked to take a week off from work.  After that, it is best to refrain from exercise for 1 month.

Gary Lawton, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

525 Oak Centre Drive
San Antonio, TX 78258

Male Breast Reduction Recovery

The typical recovery time for gynecomastia reduction is 2 weeks.  This recovery may be longer if skin excision is required.  In my practice, I ask patients to refrain from upper body exertion and wear a compression garment for 8 weeks.  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 41 reviews

16614 Creek Bend Drive
Sugar Land, TX 77478

Male Breast Reduction Recovery

You'll be off of work for about a week or so. Physical activities usually have to wait until about two to three weeks after surgery.

I generally recommend patients wear a support garment for 6 weeks - night and day for the first three weeks, and then during the day for another three weeks.

However, you should ask your surgeon as they may have different guidelines.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

362 Fairlawn Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M5M 1T6

Male Breast Reduction Recovery

Each surgeon has his or her own guidelines for postoperative care. Typically, patients can resume light activities 5 to 10 days post surgery. Most strenuous activities are generally avoid for the first few weeks. Your surgeon will guide you as he or she understands the scope of the surgery and the specifics about you.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

1501 Forest Hill Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL 33406

Recovery Time After A Male Breast Reduction - How Long Is It And What Happens?

The majority of gynecomastia procedures (male breast reduction), in my practice in Hawaii, are combination of liposuction of the chest and direct excision of male breast tissue. 

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. 

S. Larry Schlesinger, MD, FACS
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 304 reviews

1221 Kapiolani Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96814

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. 

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 142 reviews

8900 West Dodge Road
Omaha, NE 68114

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




Michael D. Cohen, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

1427 Clarkview Road
Baltimore, MD 21209

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.