Recovery from Gynecomastia Surgery is different for every patient. Most patients will experience discomfort, but rarely overwhelming pain. Less then 10% of our patients need pain medication, and the ones that do have typically suffered from severe gynecomastia and required extensive liposuction. Some people also have a lower than normal tolerance for pain.
After the procedure is finished and the patient is stable, we move him to our recovery room where his vital signs are monitored for an hour (more for the severe cases).
Bruising and swelling are common following surgery. If swelling is extensive and pain intolerable, it is a sign of large hematoma that has to be explored. Before the patient leaves our facility he is examined by Dr. Blau to make sure he is completely awake and stable, the compression dressing of the chest is intact and there is no sign of hematoma. We also ensure that the patient is to urinate without problems. We call the patient the same day to make sure they are comfortable. Post op visits are done 3- 5 days post-surgery. During those days patients should not exert themselves, which includes not lifting anything heavy and not extending the shoulder joints (to prevent movement of the pectoral’s muscle and bleeding). Movements of the wrists and elbows are not problematic. The patient should not take showers and instead sponge bathe for as long as the compression dressing is being used. Ideally, the patient should not drive for 3-7 days. Sex is also inadvisable for 7-10 days. The dressing is not to be removed until the follow up visit, at which point it is okay to take a shower. Office job can be restarted 3-5 days after surgery (depending on how your are feeling), but any job involving intense labor must wait for 2 weeks (this includes police activity, fighting fires, and construction work). These restrictions are to protect you and help to ensure the best recovery and aesthetic results possible.
In summary, the during the first post-operative week, one should be particularly careful. Almost all our patients wear a compression dressing for 3-5 days. Dr. Blau has found that there is no need to wear it longer which is supported by a study of 100 patients: half had had compression for 3 days, and the other half for 3 weeks, the final results were the same. The outcome of the gynecomastia surgery is not going to be changed by wearing compression dressing for weeks or months.
To avoid discoloration, please avoid sun exposure for at least 3 to 6 weeks and use sun screen for 3 months after surgery. Light exercise, including aerobic activity and leg work can resume 10 days after surgery. Chest exercise must wait for 3-6 weeks, when the chest is less sensitive and tender. Going back to the gym should be done gradually.
For more information read the section about post surgery risk and what is abnormal.