Swollen Areolas After Liposuction and Nipple Reduction

I am a male who recently had a nipple reduction with liposuction. The doctor did not provide any compression and 5 weeks later, I still have swollen areolas and I look worse than before the surgery. What can I do?

This is really bothering me. I started using a compression vest 4 days after the surgery. Should I continue to wear the vest or is it pointless at this point? I am concerned the streched areolas won't return to their original shape.

Doctor Answers 13

Swollen Nipples After Gynecomastia Reduction

It is normal to still have nipple swelling 1 month after Gynecomastia Excision.

If it is bothersome, compression is helpful. This can be done with Ace wrap, compression T-shirts (available on the Internet for about $20), or special surgical garments (expensive and no advantage over commercial compression T-shirts).

There is a possibility of persistent tissue excess in the area under the nipple-areola.  If that is the case, a touch-up procedure could be done, but I'd recommend allowing 6 months for the swelling to go down and further healing to progress.

Discuss your concerns with your surgeon, and take photographs at about 1- or 2-month intervals to document changes.

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Swollen Areolas After Gynecomastia Surgery

Hi forbsey4,

Thank you for your post.  At 5 weeks you are relatively early in the healing process. I do not feel a compression vest will be much benefit at this point. However, you should also make sure that there is no other reason for your swelling, namely an untreated seroma, or fluid collection. I recommend you follow up with your surgeon regarding this. As for needing another surgery, I would wait at least 6 months to allow the surgical area to settle.


Dr. Dadvand

Babak Dadvand, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

It's Not Unusual to Experience Swelling Following Liposuction for Male Breast Enlargement

It’s not unusual for patients to experience swelling following liposuction for male breast enlargement. The majority of swelling resolves in four to six weeks, but may persist for up to six months.

                  The use of compression garments and massage can help to minimize swelling and shorten the recovery period following surgery. It’s important to start compression immediately after surgery before the swelling gets started. Once swelling occurs compression may not be as effective.

                  If this problem persists beyond six months it may be more then residual swelling. Under these circumstances unresected glandular breast tissue may be the problem. This may ultimately require revisional surgery. It’s important that you discuss these issues with your surgeon. He will be able to make an appropriate recommendation.

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Puffy nipples after surgery.What does it mean?

Give it 6 months and see if the swelling will improve and disappear.If not you probably have residual gynecomastia,glandular tissue that will have to be excised if you want it to be resolved. A board certified plastic/ experienced gynecomastia surgeon should be able to help you. IN WIKIPEDIA GYNECOMASTIA you can get more information.

Mordcai Blau, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
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Revision gynecomastia correction works.


I am afraid you look like you still have gynecomastia. Compression will not help.  Wait four months, and then consider a revision.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
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This may have been the wrong operation.

Based on how you stated your question, and your photograph, I infer that preoperatively you only had swelling and/or fullness beneath the nipple/areola complex. This would mean that your degree of gynecomastia was minimal, and likely due to true glandular tissue being present and not just fatty tissue. With over twenty years of doing these procedures, I can tell you truthfully that liposuction alone, without direct excision of the fibrous, firm glandular tissue by your surgeon, will not correct your initial concern. Even when the swelling and scar tissue subside, you will still have the firm tissue beneath this area, minus a small amount of fat, plus a small amount of scar tissue = not much change. Compression helps with swelling or scar tissue, and is certainly appropriate and non-harmful, but compression will not get rid of the tissue that SHOULD have been removed by direct excision with blade and/or scissors. Liposuction all too often makes a minimal degree of improvement in patients with mostly glandular gynecomastia, and really works well only in patients who have mostly fatty "man-boobs," usually from being overweight. Mixed glandular/fatty gynecomastia requires a combination of direct excision plus liposuction techniques. BTW, ultrasonic or laser-assisted lipo may remove a bit more gynecomastia tissue, but still leaves the fibrous, glandular breast tissue and a less-than-happy patient.

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
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Swollen nipples after liposuction


After liposuction for the correction of gynecomastia, it is common to have significant swelling. Your body is currently healing and tissue needs to settle. It is extremely important to use a compressive garment after liposuction. This garment allows these swelling to subside quickly and also allows the skin to stick to the underlying muscle in a nice smooth fashion.

Pat Pazmino, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
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Swelling after Gynecomastia surgery

It is not unusual to have swelling after liposuction. Continue to wear your compression garment for several weeks. Give your body time to heal - you will see results soon.

Emily Pollard, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Swollen areola after liposuction

Perisistent swelling from liposuction can occur for several months after the liposuction procedure. You have to give some more time for the swelling to subside.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Swelling after gynecomastia repair


This can occur for some time after surgery. Light compression can be useful and I often have people covert from the uncomfortable restrictive post op garments to spandex type "under armor" shirts for up to 3 weeks after surgery.

Manual lymphatic drainage, as mentioned, may be beneficial as well.

Give this at least 3 months

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
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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.