What is the recovery time like after male breast reduction or gynecomastia surgery? What's the healing process like during recovery?
Male Breast Reduction Recovery
Doctor Answers 38
Recovery after gynecomastia surgery
Men with mild gynecomastia usually only require liposuction to remove the tissue which is considered a minor surgery. In situations where liposuction is combined with surgical removal of breast tissue, these procedures are also done in an outpatient capacity, usually in just over an hour. The patient can be back to work or school after male breast reduction surgery in just a few days and light exercise can begin after 2 weeks with full exercise resuming after about a month. There is usually only mild pain involved that goes away fairly soon.
Recovery Time after Male Breast Reduction Depends on Procedure Performed
Length of Recovery:
For the first 2 weeks following all types of surgery, I recommend that patients avoid heavy lifting or straining in order to minimize the chance for post-op bleeding. After that time, full activity as tolerated is allowed for all procedures.
Full healing strength returns only after 6 weeks, so heavy body contact should be minimized until that point.
Liposuction: of a “compression garment” for 4 weeks is usually enough to treat post-op swelling and decrease the chance for blood and fluid collections.
Gland Excision: surgical removal of the “gland” will require a bulky gauze dressing with some compression for a week to 10 days.
Gland Excision and Liposuction: a bulky dressing for 7 days along with a compression garment for one month.
Formal Breast Reduction: compression with ace wraps and a gauze wrap is worn one week. With free nipple grafts, a “tie-over” dressing is essential to prevent bleeding beneath the graft and is removed only after 7-10 days.
Custom compression-type vests offer a better alternative to "Under Armour"- type compression shirts since they are fitted based on the patient’s measurements and the pressure can be adjusted. Also, custom vests are firmer and tend to wrinkle less than the store bought ones.
I hope that is a helpful answer. Good luck!
Healing after Gynecomastia Surgery
Recovery following gynecomastia surgery is relatively painless and brief. Expect that you can shower, drive, and go back to desk work within a day or two, and that you can exercise after 2 weeks. You will probably need to wear a compression strap over your chest for several weeks to help with healing.
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Patients engage in gentle activities of daily living for the first 10 days. No aerobic exercise for at least 3 weeks. Patients may take gentle walks after 10 days.
After the initial healing, gentle massage will help reduce discomfort or firmness.
Check with your surgeon
If only liposuction is required it is an easier and swifter process than if tissue needs to be cut out.
In either case my patients are at work in a few days and are at the gym in about 3 weeks if they need an excision and 2 weeks if they just needed liposuction.
Patients generally take 4-7 days off from work depending on the type of job
If all is well, we usually resume Cardio in 5-7 days
A removable protective dressing is helpful in the first week.
Patients shower in 48 hrs
Recovery After Gynecomastia Surgery
In my practice, most patients return to work between 3-7 days. I have them wear a compression vest for 4-6 weeks depending on the procedure performed. I also limit their strenuous exercise for the same time frame but start them on stretching exercises around week 4. Patients typically recover relatively quickly as this is not a very painful surgery.
Male Breast Reduction Recovery
John T. Nguyen, MD, FACS, FICS
Double Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
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.