Recovery after Male Breast Reduction Surgery (Reduction Mammoplasty)

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.

Dr Scott Turner is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Newcastle and Sydney NSW. Here are his best tips for recovery after male breast surgery.

What causes Gynecomastia?

Excessive growth or enlargement of the breast tissue in males is 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 hormones 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.

What is Male Breast Reduction Surgery?

Male breast reduction surgery, also known as a reduction mammoplasty, is performed to reduce the size of the enlarged breasts. The procedure may also involve repositioning the nipple depending on the extent of overgrowth of the breast tissue.

How to Prepare for Better Recovery from Male Breast Reduction

Recovery from a male breast reduction procedure is marked with discomfort, swelling, and pain that can be managed with painkillers prescribed by your plastic surgeon. Here are some tips that can help lower the risk of complications after the procedure:

1. Choose a skilled specialist plastic surgeon

A specialist plastic surgeon is well-trained in the field and capable of performing the surgery. Always research your plastic surgeon – see past patient photos and read their online testimonials to ensure that they are the right fit for you. When selecting a skilled specialist plastic surgeon in Australia, it’s important to ensure they are members of reputable organizations such as the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), and the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS).

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. Your surgeon will provide specific instructions before the procedure.

3. Quit smoking & alcohol before and after surgery

Smoking and alcohol use can make you ineligible for the procedure. You have to quit smoking six weeks or more before the procedure. Smoking during the recovery period increases your risk of infection 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 optimal results, it is recommended that you follow the tips mentioned below:

1. Sleep well and rest

Sleeping well is necessary for your body to be able to heal itself after the surgery. Being sleep-deprived can tire your body and since most healing occurs during sleep, 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 incisions. 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.

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

You will likely experience pain, bruising, and discomfort after male breast reduction surgery. However, depending on your body’s reaction to the anaesthesia used during your surgery, you may experience nausea. You should inform your surgeon as it should be treated immediately with medication.

4. Wear the recommended garments according to instructions

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. To prevent fluid buildup, you must wear compression garments at least four weeks post-op. 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 you 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. If it persists longer or becomes severe, you should inform your surgeon who may then prescribe you oral medications or topical creams to resolve the bruising.

7. Do not drive after surgery

After the surgery, you may feel dizzy or groggy due to the residual effects of general anaesthesia. It is best to arrange for someone to drive you home.

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 wound reopening.

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 surgery. It is recommended that you take a sponge bath for the first two days while 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 removes the gauze packs.

11. Tell your surgeon if you are 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 postoperative pain. It isn’t recommended for you to use ice packs directly on your skin. Instead, you should wrap it in a towel before applying. This is to prevent a cold 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 in their occupation. However, if your job is physically demanding, you may need to wait for at least 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 follow-up appointments 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

1-3 days post-op

This period is marked by 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 routine, taking caution to not put pressure on your chest.

3 -4 weeks post-op

You can now take baths and you can stop wearing your compression garments.

6 weeks post-op

You can resume your exercise regimens, sleeping styles, and eating habits.

When to Seek Help After Gynecomastia 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 a 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.

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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 medical referral is helpful but NOT essential for purely cosmetic consultations.
  • 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 early for your in-person consultation.
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options.
  • 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.

Book a Phone Call for More Info

  • 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 1300 437 758 to arrange your surgeon consultation in Sydney.

Email us for more information: [email protected]