Recovery after Gynecomastia Surgery –
Gynecomastia, or male breast enlargement, affects as many as 50% of men at some point in their lives. While some cases may be temporary, many men elect to undergo gynecomastia surgery, also known as male breast reduction.
In this article Warren, MI area board certified plastic surgeon Doctor Ali explains what to expect during the recovery period after undergoing gynecomastia (male breast reduction) surgery.
Going Home after Gynecomastia Surgery
Gynecomastia surgery is generally performed as outpatient surgery, meaning that you can go home after you are discharged from recovery. Because the surgery involves anesthesia, you will need to have someone drive you home, and it is also very helpful to have someone stay with you at least for the first night or two, as you will be a bit groggy for a while. Most patients are able to return to work as early as 3 to 7 days post-surgery, depending on what the job entails. Exercise can be resumed gradually, but strenuous exercise or job duties should not be resumed until you get the all-clear from your doctor.
Pain after Gynecomastia Surgery
While the amount of pain and discomfort varies greatly, most men report that they feel the type of pain associated with a vigorous workout, while others liken the pain to being punched in the chest. Upon discharge from your gynecomastia surgery procedure, you will be given narcotic pain pills. However, many men say they didn’t need them, but rather simply used over the counter pain relief medications such as Tylenol.
Drains after Gynecomastia Surgery
Unless your gynecomastia surgery involves removing very large amounts of breast tissue, it is unlikely that you would be sent home a post-surgical drain. Dr. Ali will determine prior to your surgery whether or not a drain will be necessary, and if it is, he will give you detailed instructions on how to deal with the drain as you recover.
Swelling after Gynecomastia Surgery
It is common to experience some degree of swelling after surgery, which may increase for about a week. After that, the swelling will reduce quickly, and then gradually tapers off until after a month, it is hardly noticeable. However, the swelling will continue to reduce for the next three months up to even a year, although the changes during that period of time are very subtle.
Compression Vest after Gynecomastia Surgery
Before you leave the operating room, you will be fitted with a compression vest, which is a vest fitted with foam underneath, to provide support and to reduce swelling. After a few days, you will be instructed to remove the vest and throw away the foam. You should still wear the vest when you are recovering around the house. When you go out, you can wear a snug Under Armor-type of shirt. While there is no hard and fast rule as to how long you should wear the shirt or vest, the longer you wear it, the faster your swelling will subside. A good rule of thumb is to wear the compression vest for about a month.
Bathing after Gynecomastia Surgery
Dr. Ali suggests that you wear the initial post surgical garment for two days. After that, you may remove it to take a shower. However, you will need to put the compression vest back on afterwards.
Returning to Work after Gynecomastia Surgery
Depending on what your job entails, you can expect to return to work about three days after your gynecomastia surgery. Of course, if your job involves heavy lifting or strenuous activity, you will need to wait a bit longer. And conversely, if your job entails light duties, you may be ready to returning even sooner.
Driving after Gynecomastia Surgery
Most patients feel up to driving after about three to five days. Before getting behind the wheel, you should be confident that you feel completely unrestricted by your discomfort, and feel secure in making any abrupt movements that may be necessary as you drive your car. Of course, as long as you are taking narcotic pain medication, you must avoid driving entirely. Ultimately, you may resume driving when you are confident that you can do so safely.
Exercise after Gynecomastia Surgery
Depending on the extent of your surgery, you may resume exercise after about three weeks to a month. Dr. Ali can tell you when it is safe to begin your exercise regimen, and can suggest some intermediary steps that involve movement, but less stress to the surgical site.
Sun Exposure after Gynecomastia Surgery
During your recovery, it may sound like a good idea to lie out in the sun and relax. However, you should only do so if your incision is protected so that it is completely blocked from the sun. In fact, it is best to keep your incision blocked from the sun’s rays for at least a year.
Gynecomastia Surgery – Warren, MI Area
Gynecomastia surgery has proven to be a great benefit to men who are uncomfortable with enlarged breasts. Dr. Ali has provided surgical relief to hundreds of patients in the Warren, MI area. If you have questions about gynecomastia, give Dr. Ali a call today to discuss what options are available to you, and what may be the best course of treatment that will give you the results you desire.
Warren, MI area board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali offers gynecomastia surgery, as well as liposuction and CoolSculpting, and can help you decide which male breast reduction procedure is best for you. If you live in the Warren, MI Area, Macomb County, or the greater Detroit region call Dr. Ali’s office to schedule your gynecomastia surgery consultation today.