When to start massaging scar tissue after gynecomastia surgery?

I am 1-week post op from gynecomastia surgery. My right pec appears to substantially bigger and is starting to worry me that it will in fact remain so. I realize that is not uncommon for swelling to be unilateral but from what I can see the swelling has already reduced to where I expect it will stay. I am not quite sure how to identify what is scar tissue, and I am obviously still bruised and tender . When should somebody start massaging the area ? When will I be able to see the final result?

Doctor Answers 5

When to start massaging scar tissue after gynecomastia surgery?

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Thank you for sharing your question and congratulations on your surgery.  Depending on the gynecomastia procedures performed, it is likely that you still have significant swelling in your tissues that will need time to dissipate before your long-term results are seen.  It is important that any significant changes in appearance are relayed to your surgeon.  As for massaging I would contact your surgeon for advice as the risk of bleeding is higher in the first two weeks after surgery.  Best wishes.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews


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Thanks for your question. You are still very soon after your surgery, so there will still be swelling from your surgery. I recommend leaving it at least 2 weeks after your scars have fully healed before directly massaging over the scars themselves, however you are best to follow the advise of your plastic surgeon.

Anthony Barabas, MBBS
Cambridge Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery

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Thanks for the post. At 1 week you are very early in the healing process. Swelling can be a factor but some other things that can cause asymmetric swelling at 1 week are bleeding (hematoma) and fluid collection (seroma). These would need to be evaluated by your plastic surgeon in person as massaging would not help in either situation.


Dr. Dadvand

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

When to start massaging scar tissue after gynecomastia surgery?

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Follow your surgeon's post op instructions.  You are still in early stages of healing and your surgeon who performed the procedure knows how and when you should start massaging.

Ron Hazani, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills General Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 316 reviews

Massaging to Soften the Scar Tissue

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Most likely your plastic surgeon will inform you at your follow-up appointment as to when you may begin #massaging. She or he will also instruct you on how to properly #massage the area for effective results. In the meantime, the following information about the healing process may help as well. your incisions 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
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 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.