Recovery after Male Breast Reduction Surgery

Male Breast Reduction Surgery can help to reduce excess breast tissue or man boobs. Gynecomastia Surgery can help give you a contoured and sculpted chest. While having pecs can enhance your masculine appearance, the presence of breast tissue that resembles female breasts can diminish your confidence in social settings.  Dr Scott Turner is a Gyno Surgery expert and Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Newcastle and Sydney NSW. Here are his best tips for recovery after male breast surgery.

What causes Gyno?

Excessive growth or enlargement of the breast tissue in males is actually a medical condition known as gynecomastia, and it can sometimes be a sign of underlying pathology. The main cause of gynecomastia is the imbalance of the testosterone and estrogen in the body, which can occur with the use of certain medications, herbal products, alcohol, and marijuana. Your genetics can also play a part. Gynecomastia is a physical, mental, and social concern that can be treated surgically.

What is Male Breast Reduction Surgery?

Male breast reduction surgery, also known as a reduction mammoplasty, is performed with the purpose of reducing the size of the enlarged breasts and enhancing the natural contours of the male chest. 

The procedure may also involve repositioning of the nipple depending on the extent of overgrowth of the breast tissue and the sagging of the overlying skin. This surgery is best performed by a specialist plastic surgeon to ensure the best results as a botched result could not only have physical side effects but also psychological side effects. Read more about the Benefits of Cosmetic Surgery for Men.

How to prepare for better recovery from Male Breast Reduction

Recovery from a male breast reduction procedure is marked with slight discomfort, swelling, and pain that can be managed with painkillers prescribed by your plastic surgeon. However, there are ways to ensure that your recovery is smooth.

The recovery period can become extremely painful and uncomfortable if you have  surgical complications. Hence, to reduce your chances of facing these complications, you should take steps even before the surgery:

1. Choose a skilled specialist plastic surgeon

Undergoing a cosmetic or plastic surgery procedure is a big step and choosing a skilled plastic surgeon can make the whole process easier for you. A specialist plastic surgeon is well trained in the field and capable of performing the surgery with the expert techniques, in such a way that your risk of developing a complication during the recovery period decreases significantly. Always research your plastic surgeon – see past patient photos and read their online testimonials to ensure that they are the right fit for you. 

2. Be ready for the surgery

To be able to undergo the male breast reduction procedure, you must meet certain criteria. It is basically to ensure that you are mentally and physically healthy to handle the surgery. If you do not meet the criteria, you shouldn’t undergo the procedure because it can reduce your chances of a good recovery. 

3. Quit smoking & alcohol before and after surgery

Smoking and alcohol use can make you ineligible for the procedure, especially smoking. You have to quit smoking six weeks or more weeks prior to the procedure. Smoking during the recovery period increases your risks of infections and poor circulation, resulting in impaired wound healing and potential wound breakdown. 

Alcohol use during the recovery period, especially when you are also taking painkillers can complicate the healing of your incisions. 

Top Tips for Better Recovery after Male Breast Reduction

To ensure that your recovery period is uncomplicated, it is recommended that you follow the tips mentioned below:

1. Sleep well and rest

Sleeping well is absolutely necessary for your body to be able to heal itself after the surgery. Being sleep-deprived can tire your body and since during sleep is when your body heals best, this state can be quite detrimental to your recovery period. 

Apart from sleeping well, it is important to sleep in a particular way to prevent putting pressure on your incision. Especially during the initial phases of recovery. It is recommended to sleep on your back, at a forty five degree angle, during the first two weeks. It is important to ensure the wound has healed properly before you decide to sleep on your side or stomach. 

2. Stay well Hydrated

This may seem a simple tip but it is extremely important. Not drinking enough water can not only put you at risk of complications during the healing period but also dry your skin, resulting in a mottled appearance of the skin. 

3. Manage your post-op symptoms appropriately, according to your surgeon’s instructions

Generally, you shouldn’t experience any symptoms during the recovery period, except mild bruising and discomfort. However, depending on your body’s reaction to the anesthesia used during your surgery, you may experience some nausea. You should inform your surgeon as it should be treated immediately with medication. In some instances, your surgeon may opt for a natural treatment like ginger tea to manage your nausea. 

For the first few days after the surgery, you will be wearing a binder with gauze pads underneath, to cover the incisions and prevent them from being irritated. All these garments should be worn exactly as recommended to ensure the best results.

Male breast reduction surgery involves the removal of breast tissue and glandular tissue as well. After the surgery, there may be fluid accumulation in the chest cavity or swelling which can alter your appearance. To prevent fluid build up and support your wound, your surgeon will insist you wear compression garments, at least four weeks post-op. The use of these garments also speeds up your healing period and can protect you from infections. Just make sure they are not too loose or too tight. 

5. Take your prescribed medications according to instructions

Pain and infection are two of the most common complications of any surgical procedure. Your surgeon will prescribe your certain painkillers and antibiotics. It is crucial that you take them on time as recommended and not consume alcohol, especially with antibiotics, as this can complicate the healing process. 

6. Manage bruising and swelling

Bruising is a common side effect of male breast reduction surgery and it usually lasts for the first two weeks to three weeks. During this period, you can ignore the slight bruising that may be present. If it persists for longer than two weeks to three weeks or if it is severe, you should inform your surgeon who may then prescribe you tablets or topical creams to resolve the bruising.

7. Do not drive after surgery

The medications you may be on may impair your driving abilities and driving should be avoided, especially during the first two weeks. The first two weeks should be mostly spent resting & healing. 

8. Do not perform strenuous exercise early in your recovery

Strenuous exercises or any exercise that puts pressure on your incisions should be avoided during the recovery period. These activities can result in separation of the wound, resulting in an open, infected incision that may heal either with a huge scar or asymmetry, or both. 

The first two weeks should be spent resting, and no exercise, even light exercise, should be performed during this time. After this, you may begin to do light exercises only, making sure not to put pressure on the incisions. Weight lighting or high-intensity workouts may be started gently after six weeks – Seek your surgeon’s approval. 

9 Follow Shower and bath restrictions

To ensure a smooth recovery, avoid showering the first day after your surgery. In fact, it is recommended that you take a sponge bath for the first two days, avoiding incisions. After that, you can shower but you should still make sure to keep the incisions as dry as possible. After you shower, dry lightly with a soft and gentle towel, preventing any pressure on the incisions. 

Baths during the recovery period aren’t recommended as they can lead to infections, which in turn can result in a whole variety of complications. 

10. Practice good Wound care

It is crucial to keep your wound dry and covered till your surgeon or their nurse removes the gauze packs. 

11. Take care when taking certain medications

If you are taking certain medications like aspirin or other blood thinners, you need to speak to your surgeon before the surgery. This is because you will be asked to either stop taking them or to lower your dose as they put you at risk of excessive bleeding during and after the procedure. 

12. Be careful if using icepacks 

Ice packs are often used to alleviate any sort of body pain and aches. Although they do have the same effect on your chest after a male breast reduction procedure, it isn’t recommended for you to use ice packs directly on your skin. Instead, you should wrap it in towelettes and towels before applying. This is to prevent a freezer burn from occurring as your skin might be numb after the procedure and you may not realize that you have burnt yourself. 

13. Limit your time in the sun

Sun exposure can result in darker, highly visible scars which is why it is highly recommended that you avoid it as much as possible. However, if you cannot avoid it, you should apply sunscreen to your healed scar before going out into the sun. Click Should you be Tanning your Cosmetic Surgery Scars?

14. Return to work at the appropriate time

Depending on your occupation, you should only go back to work after two weeks post surgery. This rule generally applies to anyone who isn’t performing strenuous activities or being exposed to the sun for long periods of time in their occupation. Those who work in these conditions should wait longer before returning to work, preferably six weeks. 

15. Wear comfortable breathable clothes

This is a general tip as it lets your incisions breathe and doesn’t compress them in any way. Comfortable loose clothing should ease your ability to move your arms.

16. Attend post Up Follow ups with your surgeon

You should always follow up with your surgeon to ensure that your incision is healing properly and you can begin to return to doing your daily life activities. 

Normal Timeline for Recovery after Male Breast Reduction surgery

1/2/3 days post-op

This period is marked by slight pain, discomfort, and bruising that can be managed with medications prescribed by your surgeon. You should be resting during this time with gentle walks to aid your circulation.

1-week post-op

You can begin light exercise, return to work, and shower. 

2-week post-op

You can return to your normal life, taking caution to not put pressure on your chest.

3 / 4 weeks post-op

You can now take baths, and as your swelling will have decreased, you can stop wearing your compression garments. 

6 weeks post-op

You can resume your normal life with your exercise regimens and sleeping styles and eating habits. 

When to seek help after Gyno Surgery

If you experience ANY of the following symptoms or complications, you should contact your surgeon immediately and seek help as they may be the result of underlying issues:

1. Signs of Infection

Infection may present itself as oozing or bleeding of the incision, and it should be immediately reported to avoid any further complications from arising. 

2. Fever

A fever should be reported to your surgeon immediately because it may be pointing towards an infection that hasn’t yet caused oozing or bleeding of the incision. 

3. Pain and swelling in one leg

Blood clots in the leg, or DVT – deep vein thrombosis, are a potential complication of almost all surgical procedures. If you are experiencing pain and swelling in your legs after the surgery, especially in one leg, then it may be due to a blood clot and you should seek help immediately. 

4. Severe pain

This is usually the sign of an underlying problem and you should contact your surgeon immediately. 

5. Breathing difficulties

This is an emergency and should be treated as such. Seek medical help immediately,

6. Constipation

You are most likely going to be asked to drink more fluids and take prescribed stool softeners to avoid constipation after anaesthesia, however, if you are still constipated, you should contact your doctor immediately. 

Next Steps

Always Do Your Research

  • Enquire to find out more about your surgery
  • Please read our website to learn more about your intended procedure

Do you need a Medical Referral to see Dr Turner?

  • A GP Referral is required to Consult with Dr Turner (under new AHPRA Regulations)
  • Please obtain a referral from your GP or Specialist if you want a consultation for an MBS item number surgery.
  • Please note that your Medicare Rebates will NOT be claimable without a valid recent Medical Referral

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

How to Book Your Consultation

  • You can book your initial consultation by paying the $350 cosmetic consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment


  • To find out more information about surgery you can book a FREE 15-minute phone conversation with our Friendly Patient Care team via Calendly- Book Consultant 1 or Book Consultant 2

Contact us or call on  1300 437 758  to arrange your surgeon consultation in Sydney.

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