Why Do I Have Indents on Chest After Gynecomastia Surgery?

I'm a little over 3 months postop on my gynecomastia surgery. I had gland removal and lipo. For the most part healing has gone fine, but whenever I move certain ways, put my hands behind my back, or flex, you can see these weird indents, almost like bands of tissue all across my pecs. Is this scar tissue? Swelling? Will it go away on its own or will i need another surgery ? Ive been massaging daily since about 3 weeks post up and wearing a compression stage 2 vest. surgeon is in another city

Doctor Answers 9

3 Months after Gynecomastia Surgery and Indentations

   You appear to still be swollen.  However, getting the skin in this area to retract perfectly after liposuction if the preoperative breast is large is quite a task.  Sometimes, the area can be improved with additional intervention, but I would wait at least 6 months.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Post op swelling is normal

Swelling can take months to completely disappear.  Follow your surgeon's instructions for post operative care.  He may want you to continue the massages, and wear your garment on occasion until completely healed. 

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Post-op swelling can be irregular

Hang in there-- the swelling can take months.

If it remains irregular, a small touch up can be done, usually in the office.

Anne Taylor, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Indentation Concern Following Gynocomastia Surgery

It's still early in your recovery from gynecomastia surgery. 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. In the future, if you are still experiencing your crater concern, its best to ask questions of your surgeon or their nursing staff.  They may possibly be able to address the issue with fat grafting or cosmetic fillers if you are a good fit.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Indents on Chest After Gynecomastia Surgery

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the post and the photo. At 3 months you are still in the recovery phase. It could be swelling, scar tissue, or over-resection or liposuction in certain areas. It is not unusual to still see the skin redraping. I recommend waiting at least 6 months before deciding on whether a revision will be necessary. 


Dr. Dadvand

Babak Dadvand, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Irregularities following Gynecomastia Procedures

It is not have uncommon to have some irregularities shortly after gynecomastia breast reduction procedures.  Often this is due to swelling that takes many months to resolve.  If the irregularities persist nearly a year or more following surgery there are methods to improve the contour.

Craig Mezrow, MS, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Contour irregularity after gynecomastia surgery

Depending on how extensive your resection was, it is common to have swelling and mild contour irregularities post-operatively.  These improve over time, and I'm a fan of massage, which it sounds like you're doing.  You should massage vigorously enough to break up any underlying scar tissue, which might cause tethering of the skin to the underlying chest wall.  You should see improvement over time, and you shouldn't consider any sort of revision before 9 months to a year.

Richard Silverman, MD
Newton Plastic Surgeon
3.7 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Gynecomastia surgery 3 months post-op

At three months post-op there could be a lot of swelling. There is  a very fine line to adequate resection and slight overresection.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Contour irregularities three months after gynecomastia treatment may still resolve.

Three months after gynecomastia treatment swelling still exists in the area treated. This will improve with time and with it any contour irregularities should improve in might even the permanently result.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 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.