Male breast reduction has become a popular procedure for men who are tired of living with enlarged breasts. We call this condition gynecomastia. It is also commonly referred to as “man boobs.” Gynecomastia may develop for many reasons, from weight to hormones to certain medications. To correct the enlargement of the breasts, many men turn to diet and exercise. This is not a bad option; it just doesn’t always work. If you have found that diet and exercise have not improved your chest contours, you may be an excellent candidate for male breast reduction in our Cincinnati surgical center.
Dr. Krummen has treated many men for gynecomastia. Some can improve with liposuction, the procedure that removes fat cells. More often, it is necessary to remove fat cells as well as the breast gland. This is because an overactive breast gland is often the underlying cause of excessive breast tissue growth. When gynecomastia has been severe and has persisted for a long time, enlarged breasts may also need to be reshaped by removing excess, sagging tissue. Each gynecomastia surgery is unique. This makes it difficult to answer one of the most common questions men have about their journey: when can they work out again?
Working Out After Male Breast Reduction
Each patient knows what their procedure will involve well before they undergo surgery. Understanding the nature of their procedure helps each of our patients navigate their best recovery. Generally, patients should expect to take several weeks off their normal exercise routine. Strength-training and weight-lifting are out of the question, as forcing the chest muscles to contract too soon could lead to complications such as bleeding, bruising, and prolonged tissue trauma.
What patients can do after gynecomastia surgery is walk. If activity is a must, a man may begin walking 15 to 30 minutes a day as soon as the day after surgery. Walking does not mean hiking and it does not mean jogging. The kind of walking we’re talking about is more of a stroll. The objective is not to exercise (we don’t want the heart rate to increase) but to move the body and encourage good circulation through healing tissues. This helps repair and rebuild.
When Can Strength Training Resume?
It is imperative to recognize that gynecomastia surgery has cut and stitched the muscle and skin on the chest. Muscle contractions can cause incisions to re-open if done too soon. In most cases, strength training can gradually resume after the 4- or 6-week post-surgical follow-up visit with Dr. Krummen. After that time, incisions should be completely closed. Still, patients are advised to begin lifting very light weights; 3 to 5 lb free weights and only a few reps.
The Wait is Worth It
Gynecomastia surgery may incur a recovery period of approximately six weeks. However, the outcome of surgery and a healthy recovery can last indefinitely. The wait to resume strength-training is worth it.