How bad is the gynecomastia surgery recovery time?

I think it's well known that most men are actually less tough than women when it comes to tolerating pain. So, I have to admit I'm terribly scared of how much the gynecomastia will hurt the moment I wake up from anesthesia. I'll probably have to sleep on my back (I can't sleep on my back), and I'll need to be very careful not to injure myself by accident. Will I have a bandage to protect my chest this entire time? What do I have to avoid? Even showering must have some restrictions.

stevecar

M, 31, Vermont

Tags:man age 25-34 recovery pain healing gynecomastia

First off, it is important to note that gynecomastia may be treated by liposuction, by gland removal through a small incision made around the nipple, or by a combination of the two treatments. Liposuction alone is appropriate for the removal of excess fat tissue, but gynecomastia surgery is required to remove glandular tissue. In some cases, both liposuction and surgery are required to achieve a smooth, masculine chest contour.

As there are numerous procedures to treat gynecomastia, the extent of pain you experience and your recovery period will depend somewhat on the treatment that you undergo.

Liposuction alone generally means that you will be allowed to go home the same day as the procedure. In the case of breast reduction surgery, you may end up spending one night recovering in hospital, particularly if you have had drains inserted into your incisions. Most patients have the surgical drains removed the next day and are then released to go home.

Following surgery, you will be advised to wear a compression garment for several weeks at least. Compression garments help to minimize swelling and support the new chest contour. Sleeping on your back at a slightly elevated angle is the preferred position, but your plastic surgeon may also indicate that it is safe to sleep on your side. Avoid showering for 48 hours after surgery. Your chest will be bandaged and it is important that you avoid getting the bandages wet.

Once your surgeon has removed the bandages, you can shower normally, making sure you carefully dry yourself and replace the bandages/compression garments as specified. While it is important to take care of yourself during the recovery period, it is unlikely that you will injure yourself or damage the results of the surgery if you follow your surgeon's postoperative care instructions to the letter.

Many people are fearful about undergoing surgery and the pain associated with the procedure. While patients commonly feel some mild discomfort after male breast reduction surgery, the recovery from the procedure is generally swift and the pain can be managed easily.

Most patients with jobs that are not physically demanding can return to work after three to five days. Many men who have undergone liposuction or surgery compare the feeling after surgery to the soreness experienced after a strenuous workout.

Most patients report that breast reduction surgery is very tolerable and can be managed with over the counter pain medication like aspirin or Tylenol. If you schedule an appointment with a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in male breast reduction, they will go over the procedure that would be most suitable for you and explain in more depth what you can expect as you move through your recovery. Talking to a professional and voicing your fears can be instrumental in allowing you to put them to rest and commit to surgery if fear is the only thing holding you back.

Fear of pain can deter many people from undergoing plastic surgery. New studies indicate that many people overestimate the pain they will experience after a surgical procedure, leading to unnecessary anxiety.

Discussing any fears you have about male breast reduction can help you to have more realistic expectations about the extent of discomfort you will experience, and the role of anesthesia in blocking any sensation during surgery and also minimizing postoperative pain.

Local or general anesthesia may be used, depending on the invasiveness of your surgery and severity of your condition. For liposuction alone, local anesthesia may be sufficient but for liposuction and surgical excision of glandular tissue, it is more likely that you would be placed under general anesthesia.

A recent study showed that patients’ average expected pain rating immediately following surgery was 4.66, compared to an actual pain rating of 2.56. So while it is likely that you will experience some discomfort, it is probable that it will be significantly less than you expect.

In general, postoperative discomfort is at its worst the first few days following surgery. You will be unable to shower for one to two days until the postoperative bandages are removed by your surgeon. Bruising, swelling, and soreness are all common symptoms for three-four weeks after the procedure, but in some cases they may last up to six weeks.

Wearing a compression garment or elastic bandage can help immensely with minimizing swelling and facilitating healing. You are encouraged to wear the garment as much as possible, although it can be removed when showering.

Any pain that you do experience in the weeks following your procedure can generally be effectively managed with pain medication. As your body heals, you may note occasional spasms of pain in your chest. This means that any residual numbness is subsiding. You will also notice the incision scars changing from red and raised to soft, pale, and flat as the scar matures.

The vast majority of patients find the pain very tolerable and usually return to their jobs within a few days and to exercise within a week. Sleeping in a slightly propped up position on your back helps the healing process and allows fluid to drain away from the chest.

If pain is the main factor deterring you from committing to gynecomastia surgery, I recommend that you take the time to talk to an experienced surgeon.

A male breast reduction can positively alter your entire self-image, enhancing both how you look and feel about yourself. Gynecomastia reduction surgery has a very high patient satisfaction rate, with many patients indicating that any discomfort associated with the surgery is worth the overall benefit because of the excellent long term final results.

Hi, there is pain after this surgery, but in general, it is usually fairly mild. It is also well-controlled with pain medications.  I wouldn't worry too much.  Most people do very well and are off the pain meds shortly after surgery.  Best of luck!

Dr. Jonathan Heistein has 2 Gynecomastia Reduction before & afters:

Gynecomastia Reduction before image performed by Dr. Jonathan HeisteinGynecomastia Reduction after image performed by Dr. Jonathan HeisteinGynecomastia Reduction before image performed by Dr. Jonathan HeisteinGynecomastia Reduction after image performed by Dr. Jonathan Heistein

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It takes most of our patients 5-10 days to recover from this surgery, but it depends on the amount of work and the type of surgery that the patient needs.

I wouldn't bee too scared. Most of my gynecomastia patients do fine. At least, I never hear that it's so bad. If possible ask your surgeon if her or she can use "Exparel" as an intercostal nerve block. May help.

Hi Stevecar

If you get liposuction, the pain should be moderate, not severe.  You should expect to wear a vest like garment for several weeks after the procedure.  I advise patients not to bounce around so as not to generate shearing force and increase swelling/bruising.

sek