Week 11 post op, concerned about residual swelling and tenderness? (Photos)

Hi, I recently underwent surgery to correct my gynecomastia. The surgery was performed Aug 31, 2016, tissue, fat, and gland removed. Currently on week 11 of recovery, but concerned about ongoing swelling and tenderness. I understand that this can take up to a year or even longer to resolve, but wanted to do a check in with experts to see if my results appear to be on track. The left side is good, the right appears more distended; a ledge of swelling under my right nipple concerns me. Thanks

Doctor Answers 5

Swelling and tenderness after gynecomastia surgery

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Thank you for your question and photos.  Not all patients recover at the same pace.  That being said it would not be unusual to have swelling that persists for several months and then resolves.  Keep in touch with your surgeon and if these issues do not resolve within 9-12 months then a revision may be indicated.  Good luck.

Peabody Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Swelling and Bruising After Gynecomastia Surgery

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Hi... You shouldn't have much swelling at this stage (11 weeks) after your procedure.  The fact that you are still tender at 11 weeks is also a bit unusual.  However, swelling and tenderness do go together.  It may be that you are an exception and still have both swelling and bruising a little longer than most.  In any case, you should wait and give the area a bit more time.  Once the tenderness is gone, then you can assume that the swelling is minimal also.  Also, speak with your surgeon so that he can examine those areas in person.  Good luck.
Dr. Parham Ganchi - NJ Plastic Surgeon

Parham Ganchi, PhD, MD
Wayne Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 172 reviews

Post of swelling

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You will see a difference in the swelling with in 4 weeks and gradually improvement from there on.  Its normal to be swollen and have some bruising.  Remember to follow your surgeons post operative instructions and wear your compression garment as this aids with the swelling and healing. Every surgeon has slightly different recommendations and post operative instructions so reach out to your surgeons office and express to them your concerns and questions you may have. *

Post-Op Swelling and Tenderness

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BRUISING 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.

NUMBNESS: It is normal to experience numbness around the areola and chest. As your body heals, you may notice random bursts of pain in your chest. This is usually a sign that the numbness is subsiding.

If you find that your own efforts to reduce these issues are not working then it would be best to visit your surgeon to have the area examined and make sure that healing is going well. Good luck.

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

11 Weeks Post Gynecomastia - Why Do I Still Have Swelling Below My Right Nipple?

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The swelling that you demonstrate in your selfie could have many possible causes.  It would be very helpful to see your pre-operative pictures and, of course, the best person to answer this question would be the Board Certified plastic surgeon who did your procedure.

That being said, the possibilities that come to my mind are:

1.  Residual fat that had either not been cut or suctioned out.

2.  A seroma which is a collection of fluid.

3.  Dependent swelling which is made worse in appearance secondary to excess skin which has not contracted yet.

If you were my patient and this was dependent swelling, I would have you wear a tight rash guard 24/7 and have ultrasound (the kind physical therapist use for sore muscles) to decrease the swelling.  If you had a seroma, I would suction out the fluid.  Finally, if it was residual fat, I would do a secondary touchup liposuction of that specific swelling.

I have to say that absent this minor problem, it appears you had an excellent gynecomastia surgery, and because of that, I highly recommend you return to your personal plastic surgeon for diagnosis and treatment.

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.