Swollen Areolas After Liposuction and Nipple Reduction

I am a male who recently had a nipple reduction with liposuction. The doctor did not provide any compression and 5 weeks later, I still have swollen areolas and I look worse than before the surgery. What can I do?

This is really bothering me. I started using a compression vest 4 days after the surgery. Should I continue to wear the vest or is it pointless at this point? I am concerned the streched areolas won't return to their original shape.

Doctor Answers 16

Swollen Nipples After Gynecomastia Reduction

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It is normal to still have nipple swelling 1 month after Gynecomastia Excision.

If it is bothersome, compression is helpful. This can be done with Ace wrap, compression T-shirts (available on the Internet for about $20), or special surgical garments (expensive and no advantage over commercial compression T-shirts).

There is a possibility of persistent tissue excess in the area under the nipple-areola.  If that is the case, a touch-up procedure could be done, but I'd recommend allowing 6 months for the swelling to go down and further healing to progress.

Discuss your concerns with your surgeon, and take photographs at about 1- or 2-month intervals to document changes.

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Swelling After Gynecomastia

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Thank you for your question.

After #gynecomastia #surgery, #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. The compression garment helps reduce the swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly you will heal.

If you are concerned, please contact your #BoardCertified #PlasticSurgeon for an in-person consultation.

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

Your nipple...

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...Will continue to heal.  Compression probably won't make a difference at this point.  The big differences will be made with your close follow up with your doctor to makes sure things are healing well and that there isn't any type of infection, serum, or blood collection impairing the process.  

Tim Neavin, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 reviews


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Swelling is expected after every procedure. Every plastic surgeon has their individual routine following gynecomastia surgery. Not wearing a compression garment may not make any difference in the long run but will shorten the period of swelling in my experience. This is what I tell my patients: COMPRESSION GARMENT: Wear a compression garment after surgery for the next few weeks. The extra pressure this garment provides helps reduce swelling and discomfort. You should not remove this garment at all until the second or third day after surgery. After that, feel free to remove the garment temporarily for showering or laundering. We want you to have circumferential pressure for 4-6 weeks, but you may switch to an exercise compression garment when advised.
SHOWERING: You may shower three days after surgery.
TAPING: The doctor may decide to cover your incisions with elastic tape or adhesive foam. On the third or fourth day after surgery, you may peel these off in the shower or bath. This is easier than taking them off “dry.”
POSTOPERATIVE VISITS: Your first visit post-op visit will be 3 or 4 days after surgery, once the tape or foam has been removed.
EXPOSURE TO SUNLIGHT: It is very important to protect your incisions from the sun. Keep your chest completely covered until your incisions have closed (approx. 2 weeks). After that time, you must wear a high grade sunscreen on your incisions for a minimum of 12 weeks to ensure optimal healing of the scars.
ACTIVITY: You should start moving around once you up to it. Moderate walking around will help promote healing. Listen to your body, it will tell you if you are doing too much too soon. Do not return to strenuous activities or aerobic exercise for 4-6 weeks. If you want to know what activities are acceptable at any time during the healing process, please call our office.
Specific as you heal informationBRUISING AND SWELLING: 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. The compression garment helps reduce the swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly you will heal.


Swollen Areolas After Gynecomastia Surgery

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Hi forbsey4,

Thank you for your post.  At 5 weeks you are relatively early in the healing process. I do not feel a compression vest will be much benefit at this point. However, you should also make sure that there is no other reason for your swelling, namely an untreated seroma, or fluid collection. I recommend you follow up with your surgeon regarding this. As for needing another surgery, I would wait at least 6 months to allow the surgical area to settle.


Dr. Dadvand

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

It's Not Unusual to Experience Swelling Following Liposuction for Male Breast Enlargement

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It’s not unusual for patients to experience swelling following liposuction for male breast enlargement. The majority of swelling resolves in four to six weeks, but may persist for up to six months.

                  The use of compression garments and massage can help to minimize swelling and shorten the recovery period following surgery. It’s important to start compression immediately after surgery before the swelling gets started. Once swelling occurs compression may not be as effective.

                  If this problem persists beyond six months it may be more then residual swelling. Under these circumstances unresected glandular breast tissue may be the problem. This may ultimately require revisional surgery. It’s important that you discuss these issues with your surgeon. He will be able to make an appropriate recommendation.

Puffy nipples after surgery.What does it mean?

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Give it 6 months and see if the swelling will improve and disappear.If not you probably have residual gynecomastia,glandular tissue that will have to be excised if you want it to be resolved. A board certified plastic/ experienced gynecomastia surgeon should be able to help you. IN WIKIPEDIA GYNECOMASTIA you can get more information.

Mordcai Blau, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Revision gynecomastia correction works.

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I am afraid you look like you still have gynecomastia. Compression will not help.  Wait four months, and then consider a revision.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

This may have been the wrong operation.

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Based on how you stated your question, and your photograph, I infer that preoperatively you only had swelling and/or fullness beneath the nipple/areola complex. This would mean that your degree of gynecomastia was minimal, and likely due to true glandular tissue being present and not just fatty tissue. With over twenty years of doing these procedures, I can tell you truthfully that liposuction alone, without direct excision of the fibrous, firm glandular tissue by your surgeon, will not correct your initial concern. Even when the swelling and scar tissue subside, you will still have the firm tissue beneath this area, minus a small amount of fat, plus a small amount of scar tissue = not much change. Compression helps with swelling or scar tissue, and is certainly appropriate and non-harmful, but compression will not get rid of the tissue that SHOULD have been removed by direct excision with blade and/or scissors. Liposuction all too often makes a minimal degree of improvement in patients with mostly glandular gynecomastia, and really works well only in patients who have mostly fatty "man-boobs," usually from being overweight. Mixed glandular/fatty gynecomastia requires a combination of direct excision plus liposuction techniques. BTW, ultrasonic or laser-assisted lipo may remove a bit more gynecomastia tissue, but still leaves the fibrous, glandular breast tissue and a less-than-happy patient.

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Swollen nipples after liposuction

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After liposuction for the correction of gynecomastia, it is common to have significant swelling. Your body is currently healing and tissue needs to settle. It is extremely important to use a compressive garment after liposuction. This garment allows these swelling to subside quickly and also allows the skin to stick to the underlying muscle in a nice smooth fashion.

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.