Is weakness and numbness in the arms normal after Gynecomastia Surgery?

I had Gynecomastia surgery 4 days ago and my left arm has been extremely weak and numb since. The day after I was not able to use it at all but i regained sensation in most of my arm the 2nd day post op. However the condition has not improved since and i have numbness and weakness in my thumb, forearm and biceps. I am unable to hold objects in the affected arm. Is this normal? Thank you for your thoughts and opinions! (I am scheduled for a checkup in 2 days)

Doctor Answers 7

Numbness after surgery

It's not too uncommon to have a little numbness in you fingers after surgery. It's usually related to the position of your arms and possibly the blood pressure cuff. It usually resolves by a few days after surgery but could take a couple of weeks. As long as it is getting better you should be fine. Discuss this with your surgeon.

Numbness in arms after male breast surgery.

Always dangerous to diagnose with no exam but it most likely is due to traction on the arm during surgery.  First and foremost talk to your surgeon.  Usually this will resolve but definitely review with him/her

Edward J. Ricciardelli, MD
Wilmington Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Male breast reduction surgery gynecomastia numbness post-operative

Hi AceTK,
Congratulations on having undergoing gynecomastia surgery! After your gynecomastia surgery, the numbness and weakness you describe are NOT normal. You must follow up with your board-certified plastic surgeon. I would even call your surgeon to let him/her know of your condition TODAY.
For weakness and numbness to occur,  a nerve in your neck, chest, armpit, or arm was compressed. Nerve compression can be due to several conditions. Nerve compression can be due to the position of your arms on the operating room table, an underlying hematoma (collection of blood) or the compression garment maybe too tight. Another cause may be fluid in the armpit compressing a system of nerves called the brachial plexus.  
Again, it is imperative you call your plastic surgeon today. If you have any questions regarding gynecomastia or gynecomastia surgery, please call my office. Sincerely, Dr. Katzen

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Arm numbness after surgery

It is very unusual for an individual to have weakness in the arms after this type of surgery. Best to review with your surgeon.

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

Weakness and numbness in the arms after Gynecomastia Surgery

Numbness and weakness in the arms after gynecomastia surgery is unusual. If your arms are secured to arm boards at your side and you spend a significant time in a sitting position during the procedure, those symptoms can occur and usually resolves quickly. Notify your surgeon so that they may examine you.

Is weakness and numbness in the arms normal after Gynecomastia Surgery?

Thank you for your question.

It does not appear normal. The nerves going to the arm are not involved in the region of gynecomastia but are present in the armpit (Axilla). It is unlikely that nerves to the arms could be affected by the gynecomastia surgery itself. It is best that you talk to your Plastic Surgeon who can examine you and help you with your problem. 

All The Best !

Ajaya Kashyap, MD
India Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 132 reviews

What to Expect Post Gynecomastia Surgery

Following your #Gynecomastia #surgery, the incision sites will go through a maturation #process. For the first few months they will be red and possibly raised and/or firm. As the scar matures, after 6-12 months, it becomes soft, pale, flat, and much less noticeable. You may experience numbness, tingling, burning, “crawling”, or other peculiar sensations around the surgical area. This is a result of the #healing of tiny fibers which are trapped in the incision site. These symptoms will disappear. Some people are prone to keloids, which is an abnormal scar that becomes prominent. If you or a blood relative has a tendency to keloid formation, please inform the doctor.

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 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.