Gynecomastia Surgery Post OP Swelling and Hardness?

I just had liposuction surgery around the chest area, there is a hardening swollen surface approximately 4-6cm tall and runs all the way across my chest to my side torso, its all under the nipple area going towards the serratus anterior. Any clues what it is, the doctor said he removed the gland so i have no idea, what is it?

Doctor Answers 5

Swelling and Hardness after Surgery

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Hardness, swelling and/or bruising are all normal responses of the body at an incision site. Be sure to follow your post op instructions carefully and watch for any change in colour or size of the area.

My patients are all provided with a fact sheet of post op instructions of what to expect after surgery. For my gynecomastia patients, we implement massaging of the surgical area(s) approximately one week after surgery to help soften the areas. It is best not to start any massage routine or treatments until you have been advised to do so by your surgeon. Be sure to follow the recommendations and instructions outlined by your surgeon’s office.


Gynecomastia Surgery Post Op Swelling and Hardness

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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. If you have any concerns about #healing, its best to ask questions of your surgeon or their nursing staff.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Gynecomastia Surgery Post OP Swelling and Hardness

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Hi jayBB,

Thanks for the post. It is difficult to answer your questions because you didn't mention how long ago your surgery was. If it is very soon after then it can be swelling, fluid collection, or blood, or residual breast tissue. If it is a month or two after surgery it can be scar tissue or residual breast tissue. Other less common things are Mondor's thrombophlebitis which is an inflammation of the superficial veins which can occur weeks after surgery and can feel like firm cords. 


Dr. Dadvand

Babak Dadvand, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Gynecomastia Surgery Post OP Swelling and Hardness?

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If this is very recent, it is likely swelling and some scar tissue formation.  Your surgeon should be able to give you further insight.  Good luck and be safe.

John T. Nguyen, MD, FACS, FICS
Double Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

John Nguyen, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Hardness after Gynecomastia surgery

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It is not unusal to have swelling and hardness the way you describe after gynecomastia surgery and liposuction. This is normal and will disspate in a few weeks though some areas remain hard for a couple of months. Eventually it all goes away. If not too tender I tell my patients to massage the area but you should check with your surgeon to see what he/she advises. Hoping for a speedy recovery for you.

Morad Tavallali, MD, FACS
Vienna Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 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.