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Recovery Time After Gynecomastia Surgery

Posted November 15, 2023 in Gynecomastia

If you are considering gynecomastia surgery, you most likely are curious about what recovery entails: how much time you’ll need off of work, what the level of soreness during recovery is, and when you can start seeing results.

shirtless male torso with a fit build

Continue reading to discover what gynecomastia surgery is, what you can expect from downtime and recovery, and the benefits of this confidence-boosting procedure.

What Is Gynecomastia Surgery?

Gynecomastia surgery aims to reduce excess male breast tissue and fat and create a more sculpted, masculine chest appearance.

Your plastic surgeon will employ various techniques, including liposuction for the permanent removal of fat cells and the surgical excision of breast tissue. Excess skin that has been stretched may also be removed.

Your surgeon will discuss the techniques necessary for your procedure during your consultation. The methods will depend on the amount of fat, skin, and tissue present.

What Can I Expect From Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery?

Gynecomastia surgery is a relatively straightforward procedure performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. This means that you will be under anesthesia for the duration of the process and will feel no pain. You may be dizzy and possibly nauseous when you wake up, and having a responsible adult to drive you home is crucial.

The length of recovery will vary depending on the extent of revision necessary and the specific techniques used. Liposuction alone may be sufficient if you only have excess fat since lipo has a shorter recovery period. However, many patients who undergo gynecomastia surgery need a combination of liposuction and tissue removal.

Recovery Timeline

Days 2-3

After surgery, you will experience some pain, tightness, or tenderness in the chest. Your surgeon may prescribe you pain medication, or you can manage your pain with over-the-counter medications. Your chest will also appear swollen, and you may have to wear a compression garment around the chest to aid in healing. Physical activity should be limited, but it is important to start walking around shortly after surgery to increase circulation and avoid blood clots.

1 Week Following Surgery

Most patients notice a decrease in pain and swelling at this point. You may be able to return to work if your job is not physically demanding. Light physical activity is also typically permitted, but activities in which you raise your arms above your head, bend down, or engage your pectoral muscles should be avoided.

You may need to visit your surgeon to remove stitches and examine your incisions. Compression garments should continue to be worn throughout the day.

2 Weeks Following Surgery

Most patients feel much better and return to daily activities, including light exercise. Continue to avoid engaging the pectoral muscles to not strain the treatment area. Compression garments are still to be worn during the day.

3-4 Weeks Following Surgery

Your surgeon should clear you to resume routine exercise (still avoiding the chest). Compression garments are likely no longer needed, as your swelling should subside. You will start to see the final results of your surgery.

6 Weeks Following Surgery

Generally, this is the end of the recovery period for most patients. You can resume strenuous exercise, including the chest. Many patients feel completely back to normal, with slight swelling, which should subside in another few weeks. You will be able to see the full results of your gynecomastia surgery: a smooth, flat chest that appears more masculine.

Interested in Gynecomastia Surgery in Newport Beach, CA?

Jon M. Grazer, MD, is a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in body contouring and breast procedures, including gynecomastia or male breast reduction surgery.

To find out how Dr. Grazer can help you restore your confidence with gynecomastia surgery, call today at (949) 644-1240 to schedule a consultation.