How long after gynecomastia is compression shirt worn?
For how long after the surgery for his gynecomastia will my husband have to wear a compression garment? He will be having his surgery in early June and he's concerned that maybe he should wait until the fall so that his compression shirt won't be so noticeable as it would be if he had to wear it in July. Can you please give us an idea of how long?
I advise my patients to wear a gynecomastia compression shirt for approximately four to six weeks following gynecomastia surgery. After the six week point, he may wish to continue wearing the compression body shirt when exercising, but it’s not obligatory.
Regarding your husband's thoughts about waiting until the fall:
That's a personal preference and it does make some sense.
He should be aware, however, that there are compression tank top style "gynecomastia shirts" that are easily concealed under a short sleeve shirt or T-shirt. Ask your plastic surgeon when these can be worn instead of the compression vest. Some patients wear the vest at home and a more athletic style compression garment when outside.
Athletic-style compression shirts are made from a nylon spandex material and are nearly as good as traditional compression vests. In general, compression tops make the recovery period much more comfortable. You may want to take a look at the options on Amazon.com together. I think you'll probably agree that compression crew necks and tanks look very athletic and not like traditional compression chest binders.
Surgery to correct gynecomastia can have positive, life-changing effects and provide an important boost to self-esteem. If your husband is suffering with "man boobs" I encourage you to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss surgical options sooner rather than later -- especially if he’s already started experiencing discomfort or pain from his condition.
After male breast reduction surgery I advise my patients to wear a compression top for a minimum four weeks, and ideally for six weeks. After the four week point, wearing compression shirts is up to the patient. For the first three or four days following surgery, I’d recommend not removing the compression garment at all.
Wearing a compression shirt will reduce swelling during the postoperative period and accelerate healing overall. Some patients prefer wearing the shirts for an additional two weeks for a total of eight, especially when exercising. But it's not necessarily required.
It's also fine to remove the compression shirt when showering.
I personally don't think it's necessary for you to wait until the fall for your surgery. If you do a Google or Amazon search for men’s compression body wear or "gynecomastia tank top", you'll find plenty of high quality short sleeve and compression tank tops that look very athletic and are easily worn under a T-shirt.
There are dozens of companies who make excellent products to give your body a very toned look while recovering, so there's no reason to avoid wearing them over the summer.
That said, you should talk with your plastic surgeon about whether these athletic style shirts will be sufficient in your husband’s specific case.
Usually 4-6 weeks is sufficient time to wear a compression shirt after having Gynecomastia surgery. After that, I advise my patients to wear it only during exercise for the following 4 weeks. There are compression tank top style shirts available if your husband would like to hide it in the Summer. It is important to follow your Plastic Surgeons specific instructions after surgery. I hope this was helpful to you.
Best Wishes, Dr. B.
In my practice, compression for 4-6 weeks works best. After that, it has little to no effect. Since this elective surgery, you can have it done when your personal circumstances are best suited for it.
For further info about gynecomastia, p[lease see my website, which is exclusively devoted to gynecomastia: http://www.gynecomastianewyork.com/
Elliot W. Jacobs, MD, FACS
New York City
Dr. Elliot Jacobs has 3 Gynecomastia reduction before & afters: