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Tips for Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery

Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery

For most patients, gynecomastia surgery recovery lasts anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. This outpatient procedure can vary in the approach we use to achieve your goals. This means that ultimately, your recovery time for gynecomastia surgery really depends on what type of procedure you’re having.

If you’ve been considering male breast reduction surgery, this article will go over the average gynecomastia surgery recovery time periods, as well as the various techniques that may be used for your procedure. We’ll also touch on what you can expect during the typical gynecomastia surgery recovery timeline and how long the results of your surgery should last.

What Is Gynecomastia?

If you are a male who is unhappy with the way your chest looks or feels, gynecomastia breast surgery can help you achieve a flatter, more masculine looking chest.

Gynecomastia is a condition that occurs in males wherein the breast tissue is enlarged. Ultimately, enlarged male breast tissue can happen for a number of reasons, including the following.

Natural Hormonal ShiftsHow Long Does Gynecomastia Last In Adults

One of the main reasons gynecomastia occurs is the natural hormonal shifts that every man goes through. As you get older and your hormones change, it’s natural for your chest to reflect some of these changes.

Therefore, in puberty, many young men will notice their chests begin to appear larger — sometimes almost as if they have female breasts. Sometimes, this is called having breast buds.

In addition to pubescent males, both newborn baby boys and adult men who are going through hormonal changes may encounter gynecomastia. Of course, in many of these situations, the shift in body composition is completely natural and only temporary.

Underlying Medical Health Conditions

Certain medical conditions may also cause gynecomastia. For example, some types of cancer, including adrenal gland cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, testicular cancer, and others may have gynecomastia as a side effect.

Likewise, cirrhosis (of the liver), overactive thyroid, and chronic kidney disease can also cause this issue. If you have severe gynecomastia, it’s worth talking to your doctor about a possible underlying cause.

Medications and Recreational Drugs

Taking certain drugs and prescription pain medications may also cause gynecomastia. Certain medical treatment medications used to treat ulcers, epilepsy, heart disease, and cancer are included in this group.

Likewise, recreational drugs such as methamphetamine and marijuana have been linked to gynecomastia, as has heroin. Even heavy alcohol use has been known to cause gynecomastia.

Weight Gain or Weight Fluctuations

Finally, many patients who are severely overweight or obese may notice that they have extra tissue, fat, and skin on their breasts. This is really just added body fat. The patient may have gained a lot of weight, so because their body is bigger overall, that means their breasts become bigger as well.

If a man has gained a significant amount of weight and then lost a lot of weight, sometimes the skin on the breasts becomes stretched out.

Even after weight loss, this skin can remain stretched so that it almost appears as if he has large breasts. This isn’t actually glandular tissue, nor is it fat. Still, many men are unhappy with this excess skin on their breasts, so gynecomastia surgery can help take care of it.

All About Gyno Surgery Procedures

When the reason for gynecomastia is not natural (the issue will not go away on its own), many men turn to gynecomastia surgery. Other than exercising and dieting to lose overall body fat and thus reduce the size of the breasts, plastic surgery is really the only way to improve excess breast tissue in males.

Ultimately, every gynecomastia surgery is different. This is because the reason for having gynecomastia in the first place is different for every patient.

If you only have excess skin, for example, your surgery will simply be a skin excision procedure. Some patients only need liposuction to remove excess fat.

Finally, some patients may need glandular tissue removed because of an actual hormonal cause for gynecomastia. And of course, some patients need to have skin, fat, and glandular tissue removed.

Gynecomastia In AdultsRecovery From Gynecomastia Surgery

The gynecomastia recovery process is typically quite quick and straightforward. However, because the surgery is, again, different for every patient, it can be difficult to give a one-size-fits-all answer in terms of a recovery timeline and when you will achieve your final results.

Typically, if a patient only needs liposuction, they’ll simply need to take a few days off before returning to normal activities. If you need skin removed, however, (or skin and tissue) this could mean the optimal healing process may take one or two weeks.

Ultimately, it will take several months for all swelling to disappear. But you should see significant results right after surgery and in the immediate weeks following your procedure.

Symptoms following surgery include swelling, bruising, discoloration, chest pains, and soreness. You will need to wear your compression garment as directed for a few more weeks following surgery to minimize swelling and bruising while keeping everything in place. 

These garments can help decrease the chance of blood clots by increasing blood flow to the surgical site.  Also, you never want to take any type of blood thinners like anti inflammatory medications or certain herbal supplements.  Unusual swelling of leg pain can be a sign of blood clotting that you should be aware of in association with gyno surgery.

Follow a healthy diet, do some light walking every day, and get plenty of sleep during your recovery.  Never hesitate to contact your surgeon’s office if complications occur and you feel you need medical attention.

FAQ: Gynecomastia Recovery Period

Will I have scars after gynecomastia?

Yes, gynecomastia scars are a normal result of this procedure. Scar tissue forms whenever the skin is cut or wounded, so this is simply a normal part of having surgery. Your surgeon will discuss exactly where your gynecomastia surgery scars will be at your consultation appointment, as this varies.  It’s always a good idea to avoid sun exposure to the surgical site.

Can gynecomastia come back after surgery?

Typically, results from gynecomastia surgery are permanent. But remember that the aging process still continues, and your body will still change. Some looseness in the chest is, therefore, normal as you get older.  You could review before and after photos to see what you can expect following your procedure.

Is gynecomastia surgery painful?

Pain levels range from minimal to moderate pain, and can be effectively managed with prescribed pain killers and OTC medications. Drain removal usually occurs in clinic after 1-2 weeks.  The use of cold compresses reduces swelling in the breast area along with the use of compression garments can help promote healing.

Can gynecomastia help out my dad bod?

Yes, this is one of a few procedures that can help you get the attractive dad bod you’ve always wanted.  Other procedures can include liposuction, tummy tucks, and even the use of botox.

Request a Consultation Appointment

Before booking a date for your gynecomastia operation, it’s important to meet with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your condition and symptoms, your goals, and the details of the proposed cosmetic surgery.

Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Matthew Schulman performs gynecomastia surgery to remove excess tissue, skin, and fat from the chest and help patients achieve the flatter, masculine chest they desire. Dr. Schulman has a fully certified and accredited operating room in his office. During the procedure, you will be completely asleep with general anesthesia and monitored from start to finish by a board certified anesthesiologist.

Learn more about gynecomastia surgery today by calling our NYC practice and scheduling your consultation with Dr. Matthew Schulman.


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