Why Does One Side of my Chest Look Larger Than the Other Side After Gynecomastia Surgery? (photo)

On 09/10/2012 I had Gynecomastia Surgery+ Liposuction. After surgery I had a Jackson-Pratt drain attached to both my sides. The left side of my chest look flat and sunken in a bit but the right side of my chest looked bigger. Well on 09/14/2012 I had the drains removed and feel great but today I looked in the mirror and the right side of my chest worries me since it still looks larger than the right. IDK if it's the swelling or fluids in my chest or if this is how my chest will stay.

Doctor Answers 9

Asymmetry after gynecomastia surgery

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Asymmetry after gynecomastia surgery can occur just like after any other surgery. While most of the time this asymmetry is temporary and secondary to swelling and bruising that subsides at different rates, it can also be an inherent part of the end result. This could be secondary to underlying differences between the two sides that become uncovered when the breasts are reduced, but it could also be secondary to a postoperative complications. You should definitely consult with your surgeon.

Why Does One Side of my Chest Look Larger Than the Other Side After Gynecomastia Surgery?

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Still very early in the healing phase. Best to discuss with your doctor in person. Check if hematoma or just swelling or excess tissue. 

Fluid collection after gynecomastia surgery needs to be aspirated.

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You might have a seroma (fluid collection).  If the fluid is not removed, it can become permanent internal scar tissue.  See your surgeon.  A sonogram will detect fluid.

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

Chest and liposuction

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The two sides do look a bi different but I bet they did before sugery. In any event, give it time to settle down a bit.  It can alwyas be revised a bit down the road.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Difference in sides after gynecomastia surgery

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Swelling will not go down identically. You can't draw any conclusions as to the cosmetic result from the amount of swelling you have now. It is only 9 days postop so you need to have patience and continue to followup with your plastic surgeon.

Post Surgery

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I would recommend you wait longer before worrying about the size difference.  You can go up and down with your swelling for a couple months after that procedure.

Ben Hugo, MD
Virginia Beach Plastic Surgeon

Healing & Assymetry After Gynecomastia Surgery

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Asymmetry during the healing process is not at all uncommon after any breast surgery. Also, your incisions will go through a maturation #process following #Gynecomastia #surgery. 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

Asymmetry 1 week post gynecomastia surgery

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Asymmetry can occur post surgery. Frequently it is temporary as one side heals faster than the other. Consult with your surgeon to determine if you are healing as you should as he or she understands the scope of the surgery and the specifics about you.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Post-op asymmetry

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As noted, it's too early to say if the asymmetry is a result of tissue left behind, or if it's related to swelling, hematoma (blood collection) or seroma (fluid collection).  Your surgeon may be able to detect the latter causes, and if required, aspiration of a hematoma or seroma may give some instant improvement. Otherwise, you need to give your results time for resolution of swelling before pursuing any revision.  I advise my patients to wait 9 months to a year before doing any revision, particularly for asymmetry, as it can take that long to resolve, particularly if it's related to swelling from some excess bleeding on one side as compared to the other side.  If it's just residual fat, some additional liposuction can be done to get improvement, and that's a fairly simple process.  


Rick Silverman

Richard Silverman, MD
Newton Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.