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 (31)

Gynecomastia recovery...


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.


Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

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.

S. Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews




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.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

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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
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Male Breast Reduction Recovery

Most people feel tender and bruised post gynecomastia surgery, but are not in a great deal of pain. Pain medication will make you comfortable.

You should plan to be off work for 4-7 days. During that time you are encouraged to go for leisurely walks. Athletic activities usually have to wait until approximately 2 to 3 weeks.

A support garment is worn for 6 weeks - night and day for the first three weeks, and then during the day for another three weeks. This garment will help reduce swelling and conform the skin to your new shape. Showering is permitted on the second day after surgery. Massage of the treated areas will begin 7-10 days after surgery to help decrease the swelling faster and to smooth out any irregularities. Scars will initially be red and a little raised, but over 3-6 months they usually get lighter in colour and flatten out.

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

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

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 18 reviews

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 229 reviews

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 86 reviews

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Gynecomastia Recovery


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.

Saeed Marefat, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 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.