What Does One Need to Do Before Getting Male Breast Reduction Surgery?

Are there diet restrictions or suggestions that one should be aware of in the weeks leading up to male breast reduction surgery? Are there any exercises that should be avoided or performed?

Doctor Answers 13

What to do before male breat surgery

Male breat surgery is needed for a condition called gynecomastia or excess breast tissue in males. This is caused most commonly by hormonal changes during puberty and usually goes away. But if it persists, it can be very embarrassing. Make sure you have a long talk with your surgeon about the scar around the lower part of the areolar and the limitations after surgery. Discuss the risks, such as an abnormal contour. You will probably have an Ace bandage or a binder of some sort after surgery, and you may have a small drain. You need to be informed about this. It is important to minimize any bleeding during surgery, so for a minimum of two weeks, do not take any of the following: aspirin, Motrin, Advil, Aleve, fish oil, Omega-3 supplements, supplimental garlic, or vitamin E or a multi-vitamin  containing E. You may resume these a week after surgery. I advise my patients to do no perctoralis exercises for 10 days after surgery according to how it goes. Also for a week after surgery, do not get hot or do aerobic exercises. These can cause excessive swelling or even bleeding.

E. Ronald Finger, MD

Savannah Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Preparation for surgery

I instruct my patients to treat surgery like a 10 K run.  Train for it by eating really well and working out.  I think the better shape you are in at the time of surgery, the quicker you recover.  I also give my patients a list of medications and dietary supplements not to take for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after surgery.  Oh, and no smoking although if you are a smoker, you would not be on my surgery schedule for this operation!

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Preparation for Male Breast Reduction Surgery

Hi there-

As long as you are in generally good health, there should not be any specific medication or exercise regimen necessary to optimize your chances of a healthy and smooth recovery.

I would, as others have written, avoid foods and medications that would thin your blood, such as aspirin and ibuprofen (and all medications containing them). Your surgeon's office should be able to provide you with a comprehensive list of what to avoid.

In addition, there are now several well-done studies indicating that the proper combination of arnica montana and bromelain (both are dietary supplements and do not require a prescription) is effective in diminishing time to resolution of swelling and bruising after elective plastic surgery procedures.

Many of my own patients have followed this regimen and I do believe their recovery was shortened a bit- but I'm not sure it was enough to say everyone should be taking these supplements before surgery.

Do your homework and see what you think is best for you- but before doing anything, please be sure to let your surgeon's office know, and make sure it doesn't conflict with their plans for you or their instructions for your recovery.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Avoid product which may cause bleeding

The common complication with gynecomastia surgery is bleeding. Theer are many products and drugs that thin the blood causing the clotting cascade to be off.  Make sure you discuss this with your plastic surgeons office.  Which drugs to avoid.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Preparing for male breast reduction surgery

Before any kind of surgery I recommend a well balanced high protein diet, multivitamins and avoid dehydration. Stop aspirin and similar drugs 2 weeks before surgery. Nothing else particularly special.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Preparation for Male Breast Reduction Surgery

The best preparation for Male Breast Reduction surgery is to make sure you do not take any medications or supplements which may thin your blood and prolong bleeding, fill all of your surgeon's prescriptions so you do not have to do so after surgery and prepare yourself emotionally for the surgery. Other than that there are no special preparations.

Good Luck.

Peter A Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Male breast reduction

There are no exercises that I know of that help with male breast reduction surgery.  I think one of the most important things to do is to avoid any medication or food product that can thin the blood and cause bleeding.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Preparation for Male Breast Reduction Surgery?

Thank you for the question.

Your plastic surgeon will be reviewing dietary and medication restrictions for the weeks prior to your surgery. Generally, any dietary or  medication that can increase the potential for bleeding should be stopped prior to surgery. Exercising will not be an issue.

Generally, it is best to be as close as possible to your long-term stable weight prior to surgery. The use of nicotine products and marijuana should be avoided.

Make sure you review the specific preoperative dos/ don'ts with your plastic surgeon prior to the procedure.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 reviews

Pre Operative Male Gynecomastia Breast Reduction

Dear Patient,

Before your breast reduction you should definitely stop smoking(that is if you are a smoker). Any exercising you do or not do has no bearing on the surgery outcome. You should stop eating any foods and drinks that thin your blood (garlic, cranberries, wine etc) your doctor should provide you with a complete list of these contraindications. You should however , surgery or not,  maintain a healthy lifestyle, drink a lot of water, and exercise.

Teanoosh Zadeh, MD, FRCSC
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

There is no special preparation for male breast reduction surgery.


You need to have a lot of confidence and good communication with the doctor who will be operating on you.  So you should feel totally comfortable getting all this information from your surgeon.  If you are not satisfied with the answers, that could be a warning sign. 

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 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.