Is this a lump or swelling beneath the nipple following gynecomastia surgery?

I had a gynecomastia surgery now 8 days ago. I had to stay one day in hospital. one hour after the surgery, my chest looked perfect. Now, I feel there is a lump right under the nipples and also my chest looks just like the way it was before the surgery. I don't think this is a scar tissue because my surgeon did only one incision of just 5 mm. When I showed it to him, he said It's not lump but swelling. But I really touch it, it is very hard and it is bothering me because my chest is big. what is this?

Doctor Answers 5

Lumps Following Gynecomastia Surgery

Following #Gynecomastia #surgery, 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.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Swelling after gynecomastia operation

Even with a good exam, it is probably difficult to say exactly what this fullness represents. It is probably too early for scar tissue, so therefore it is likely swelling or a small collection of fluid. Your plastic surgeon is the best person to assess this. Probably no intervention is needed, and you just have to wait for the expected swelling to subside.

Ira H. Rex lll, MD
Fall River Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Lump After Gynecomastia Surgery

Thank you very much for your question.

Your doctor is probably correct, swelling or scar tissue.  Scar develops wherever there is surgical work done, so even though the incision is small, scar tissue will develop under the entire chest if that's where surgery was done.  You may get even more firmness in the next few weeks as scar tissue builds, before it finally settles down again.  I would continue to follow along with your surgeon closely, and follow their recommendations.

If you chest continues to swell, I would contact your surgeon for a more urgent evaluation.

Daniel Krochmal, MD
Chicago General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Lump or swelling beneath the nipple following gynecomastia surgery?

 Congratulations on having undergone the gynecomastia surgery.  Although your concerns are understandable, it is most likely that your plastic surgeon is correct;  early on after surgery the "lump" you are feeling is related to swelling and inflammation that's occurs after any surgical procedure. It may take several weeks/months for the swelling to dissipate and for you to see the final outcome of the procedure performed.

I would suggest that you continue to be patient and continue close/ frequent follow-up with your plastic surgeon. Best wishes for an outcome that you will be pleased with longer-term.


It is very early in your postoperative recovery. This is swelling and inflammation as your surgeon suggested. Right after surgery is an accurate assessment of how things look and then I often say, "all hell breaks loose" as swelling and inflammation occurs. Take a deep breathe because over the next few weeks things will get harder and more lumpy as the tissue heals and forms fibrosis or scar tissue. This continues until about 8 weeks and then tissues will begin to soften. Keep your postoperative visits with your board certified plastic surgeon as this will help to reassure you that you're progressing as you should be. Hang in there, healing takes time. 

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 72 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.