Male breast reduction has become a common procedure in recent years. This term describes a group of techniques that may be utilized to bring a man’s chest back to its masculine form. The surgical procedure that is recommended does more than reshape the breasts, as men may know. When the male chest is made to once again look like a masculine chest, the patient gains immense emotional satisfaction from this physical change. Reducing breast size may mean no longer having to wear baggy clothing to hide one’s shape. It may mean being able to toss out the compression “bra” that has been relied upon to hide man boobs. It usually means regaining the self-confidence that has been lacking for years.
Gynecomastia surgery may be much more common now than it was even a few years ago, but most men still have questions. The Big One that we often hear is “what is it like to recover from male breast reduction?” Here, we provide a general timeline of the issues most important to many of our patients.
The Recovery Timeline for Male Breast Reduction
The following details of gynecomastia surgery are general and will vary from one person to another. Remember, every procedure is tailored to the individual. Some cases may require only the removal of fatty tissue while others are much more extensive, involving the removal of sagging breast tissue, the breast gland, and stretched skin. In general, men can expect to:
- See the doctor the day after surgery. This first surgical follow-up is a brief visit to observe initial healing and change out the surgical dressing for a compression garment. Extensive procedures may have a 10-day bandage rather than a one-day dressing.
- See the doctor approximately one week after surgery to have drains removed. Drains are often placed to allow fluid to drain from the surgical area. These are typically not painful but may feel slightly inconvenient.
- Limit arm movements for up to three weeks, avoiding lifting the arms overhead.
- Have the ability to resume lower body exercise in a week to two weeks.
- Be cleared for upper body exercise after 5 weeks, possibly later depending on the technique used during surgery.
A Word about Exercise after Gynecomastia Surgery
Of all the side effects of surgery, it may be fatigue that takes a man by surprise. It is crucial to listen to your body as you gradually resume normal activities after male breast reduction. There is no “suck it up” here, only a commitment to true healing through adequate rest and recuperation.