Did playing basketball increase my recovery time from gynecomastia surgery?

I got gynecosmastia surgery 9 days ago and my vest taken off 4 days ago. When that happened I saw that my left side was more swollen than the right, I noticed my surgeon observe that side without saying a word as it was probably too soon to comment on.Yesterday I made a poor decision and played basketball. My chest was immediately sore afterwards and the swelling increased significantly on the left side and my breast looks like it's about to pop. Will everything be alright?

Doctor Answers 4

Asymmetry or Swelling Post Op After Engaging in Activity Following Surgery

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Asymmetry during the healing process is not at all uncommon after any breast surgery.  Also, your incisions will go through a maturation #process following #Gynecomastia #surgery. For the first few months they will be red and possibly raised and/or firm. As the scar matures, after 6-12 months, it becomes soft, pale, flat, and much less noticeable. You may experience numbness, tingling, burning, “crawling”, or other peculiar sensations around the surgical area. This is a result of the #healing of tiny fibers which are trapped in the incision site. These symptoms will disappear. Some people are prone to keloids, which is an abnormal scar that becomes prominent. If you or a blood relative has a tendency to keloid formation, please inform the doctor.

A collection of fluid under the skin occurs occasionally during the postoperative period. Aspiration of the fluid with a needle is frequently helpful. Secondary surgery is rarely necessary. Bruising and #swelling are normal and usually increase slightly after the removal of any tape or foam. The bruising will decrease over 3-4 weeks, but may last as long as 6 weeks. The majority of the swelling will be gone within the first 3-4 weeks. However, it may take 6-9 weeks to disappear completely. 

Also, as you heal, the area may feel “lumpy” and irregular. This, too, decreases with time, and massaging these areas will help soften the scar tissue. The #compression garment helps reduce the swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly you will #heal. It can also assist in the retraction of the skin.

Usually 1 week after #gynecomastia surgery you can begin taking moderate walks or ride a stationary bike. Strenuous workouts or aerobic #exercise can begin around 4 weeks post-op. Please get approval from your doctor before you begin any workout regimen.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Sports after surgery

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In my opinion, you should see your surgeon right away.  From your description, it appears that you might have a hematoma, or bleeding on your left chest.  This needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later, in my opinion.  Your surgeon will discuss the best course of action with you.

In the future, it would be best to avoid any sports or physical activity and wear your vest for an extended period of time.  Your Plastic Surgeon should discuss this time period with you.

Best of luck!

Kevin O'Grady, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon

Activity after surgery

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You should discuss this with your surgeon. You may have developed a hematoma from starting exercise too soon. Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Did playing basketball increase my recovery time from gynecomastia surgery?

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Based on your description, you will need to follow up with your plastic surgeon sooner than already scheduled for physical examination and treatment. It is possible that you are experiencing a fluid accumulation,  that should be evaluated/treated.  Best wishes.

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.