Swelling and fluid retention after male breast reduction. Will it disperse naturally?

Hi I underwent make breast reduction surgey 5 weeks ago. I had drains in overnight and was discharged the following day. I have been wearing compression garments since but am still swollen and have a pocket of fluid on the left side of my chest. Will at his disperse naturally? And is there anything I can do to speed the recovery ?thanks.

Doctor Answers 5

Swelling & Fluid Retention After Gynecomastia Surgery

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.


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Recovery after Male Breast Red

What you describe is often normal early post operative findings that resolve with time. Swelling after Breast Reduction takes many months to see the final result. Elastic Garments and massage shortens this process. The larger the reduction the longer it takes as a general rule.

Male breast reduction

At 1 month you still have significant swelling that will continue to improve with a pressure garment over the next 2 months. Unfortunately it sounds like you have a seroma that needs to be drained very frequently like every 2 days to allow the walls to collapse and seal together. Call your PS and ask what their plans are for you.

David Liland, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

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Fluid after gynecomastia surgery

I think it is best to see your surgeon and have them aspirate the fluid out so that the skin can shrink down properly. It is a quick in-office procedure that just takes a minute or two for your surgeon to do.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
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Fluid after male breast reduction

Thanks for your question. It is a little difficult to answer without pictures or an exam. If the fluid collection is large it is best to have it drained to allow quicker healing. As for the swelling, this can persist for a couple of months. You should follow up with your plastic surgeon and discuss your concerns. He/she can properly diagnose and treat the problem.  Good luck!

Jeffrey Umansky, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 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.