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Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery Tips
Male Plastic Surgery

Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery Tips

Written by
Juli Albright
Juli is our patient advocate and community connection. She balances work, life and family with grace.
Juli is our patient advocate and community connection. She balances work, life and family with grace.

Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery Tips

The recovery process of the male breast lift/reduction or Gynecomastia surgery can significantly vary from person to person as every patient is unique in terms of their pain tolerance and body’s natural recovery response. The amount of excess tissues removed and the type of surgical methods used can significantly impact the recovery time period. Generally, the average recovery time for gynecomastia surgery is 4 to 6 weeks.

If you want to learn more about how much time you may take to recover after Gynecomastia surgery and what is the restriction of this cosmetic method, you need to read the article further.

Recovery Timeline and Restrictions

The following mentioned time durations are the basic milestone of the recovery process. Additionally, it is important to understand that your recovery period can be completely different.

2 to 3 Days Following Surgery              

At this time, people may experience tightness, pain, or tenderness in their chest soon after the surgery. If you feel extreme pain, you can manage the discomfort through prescribed Tylenol and pain medication. Some patients can also experience numbness or decreased feeling. If your surgeon has used long-lasting anesthesia such as Exparel, this numbness can last more than 3 days. Others also feel nausea because of some type of anesthesia used for the surgery.

Although patients can observe the results after the surgery, the chest area can swell. Your surgeon will also recommend you use the compression garment, which reduces the discomfort and swelling by encouraging quick healing. Most surgeons will recommend you to do rest during this time and may allow you to do light walking. Patients also need to avoid taking a shower 24 hours following the surgery. Moreover, your surgeon may also recommend you to sleep on your back or elevated position depending on your condition.

1 Week Following Surgery

In the 1st week, many patients feel a decrease in swelling and pain. Some of them are also able to resume their daily work routine. They may also be able to do light physical activities. But, strenuous movements that require pectoralis muscles (pecs) are not allowed until your surgeon permits you to perform these activities.

If your cosmetic surgery involves stitches, you also have to schedule an appointment so that your surgeon can remove these stitches. The surgeon also removes the drains (if any) at this stage. However, you still have to wear the compression garment throughout the day. Your doctors will also suggest you sleep on your stomach or side for few more days.

2 Weeks Following Surgery

Almost every man feels normal and powerful this week. They start to perform their daily activities without experiencing any pain. But they have to avoid performing heavy or vigorous activities. By the end of this week, you might be able to sleep on your sides or stomach. You need to continue wearing compression garments in the daytime.

3-4 Weeks Following Surgery

After 2 weeks, the surgeon usually recommends patients begin normal and less heavy exercises. Patients only need to steer clear from the exercises that put pressure on the chest. Fortunately, you don't need to wear a compression garment at this point. Most patients are also able to take baths, as the bruising and swelling of the chest almost end. This is why you can easily see the outcomes of your gynecomastia surgery.

 6 Weeks Following Surgery

This week typically marks the end of your recovery period. Most patients are able to perform all sorts of exercises, including strenuous movements that require chest muscles. You can also sleep in whatever position you like. You might be able to notice a little bit of swelling in your chest, which will slowly resolve after a few weeks.

Pain Management

As we have mentioned, almost every patient will feel moderate pain after the surgery, especially during the first few days following the surgery. In addition to it, the pain intensity can also differ significantly based on an individual's pain tolerance ability. The extend of the surgery is also one of the factors that lead to pain. However, you always have a chance to manage your pain through a certain type of medication. Some men need to prescribe medications, while others can deal with their pain with only over-the-counter pills.


Depending on what type of surgical method you choose and the amount of tissues removed, scarring is possible in your body's incision areas. But a skilled and qualified plastic surgeon will hide the incisions in low visibility parts of your body. Furthermore, your doctor will suggest you use topical scar-lightening creams in these areas to reduce the scar and heal that part. There are some laser-based scar treatment methods to resolve the more visible and larger scars.

You may also want to know that scar tissue formation is possible in the treatment area, manifesting as small bumpy or lumpy areas in the chest. In rare cases, this is the side effect of cosmetic surgery, which you need to tell your surgeon.

Tips to Accelerate Your Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery

The following are some tips if you want a quick recovery. Make sure to follow all the mentioned tips to get the results you want.

·      Always follow the guidelines of your doctor for post-surgery.

·      Keep wearing the compression garment your surgeon gave to you. This is the most vital factor to promote healing and getting the best final result.

·      Go for all the post-operation follow-up appointments your surgeon asks for.

·      Apply cold compression to your chest to minimize swelling and pain. However, make sure to avoid applying cold compression directly to your skin.

·      Get lots of sleep and rest, especially in your first week of recovery.

·      Avoid all types of smoking and alcohol for at least two weeks after and before the surgery.

·      Consume a healthy and light diet.

·      Use supplements like micronutrients and vitamins to encourage healing.

·      Keep yourself hydrated by drinking more than 64 ounces of water regularly.

·      Take at least a week off from your job. If your job revolves around physical activities, then take more leaves.

·      Try to wear as loose clothes as you can, especially shirts, as you will not be able to raise your hand to wear your clothes easily.

·      Choose a caregiver who can help you at least for the first 24 hours after the surgery.

·      Make sure you prop yourself with a pillow and sleep on your back. This tip will help you to get in and out of bed. Don’t sleep on your belly and side for at least more than 2 weeks after the surgery.

·      Try to avoid extensive and strenuous activities as much as possible until your surgeon allows you.

·      When it comes to the time to start your gym, make sure to start gradually and with fewer intensity exercises to make your body habitual with it.

·      You may feel itching sensations after the surgery. Refrain from scratching those parts.

Interested in plastic surgery in San Antonio? Call or text Alamo Plastic Surgery to set up your consultation for gynecomastia surgery.

Written by
Juli Albright

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