The Bottom Line About Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery

gynecomastia surgery recovery at the austin gynecomastia center

After the many gyno surgeries I have completed at the Austin Gynecomastia Center, I want to offer gynecomastia surgery recovery tips that will answer many of the common questions that I am asked. Gynecomastia surgery recovery essentially takes two days. There will be some discomfort for weeks afterwards, but this can easily be tolerated and patients can generally resume life activities after two days. This may be hard to believe that something that has caused so much angst in your life has such a short recovery time but, yes, it’s true. That doesn’t mean your responsibilities are done after two days however, as to get the best results during your gyno surgery recovery time there are things you can do to assist.

I have come to the conclusion that the actual gynecomastia surgery is the easy part in overcoming this embarrassing condition. I have control over the operation, and I feel very comfortable and confident about being able to contour the male chest expertly time after time. What I can’t control to the same extent is what the patient does during the recovery period. I have learned over the years that this time period is very important when it comes to obtaining the best result possible. Each person is unique in terms of the severity and presentation of gynecomastia, as well as how he heals.

I stress to every one of my patients the need to comply with my post-surgery recommendations, which include:

  • It’s important to wear compression garments for 4 weeks after surgery.
  • Use my rolling technique no sooner than week 3 and continue for 6 or more weeks.
  • Vigorously massage any irregularities or bumps with your fingers in addition to the rolling technique.
  • Don’t drink more fluids than you need.
  • There should be no strenuous activity (anything that increases your blood pressure) for the first 2 weeks. You may start exercise after 2 weeks in other areas but stay away from your chest for at least 4 weeks.
  • Keep your shoulders back and posture upright.
Chief Nurse Lacy Stewart of the Austin Gynecomastia Center explains the process of recovery after gynecomastia surgery with Dr. Robert CaridiWatch

Getting The Best Results During Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery

The above list may seem like it’s a list of chores that I have crafted just to torture patients during gyno surgery recovery, but honestly it is not! How well you follow this list will give you the best chance at having the best results following your surgery.

Most healing occurs in the first 5 weeks after surgery and this is why it is so important to focus on your recovery after gyno surgery. You’ve waited long enough to be free from gynecomastia, so what is a few weeks of discipline to help make the most of it? Do know that it can take up to one and a half years for all the healing to be complete, so making a routine of it isn’t a bad idea.

Compression garments should be worn for 4 weeks to control swelling, provide support and facilitate skin retraction. I encourage all my patients to massage the treated area with their hands or a roller device to soften the scar tissue and help the skin lay out nicely. This should be done several times a day for 20 minutes or more starting 3 weeks after your procedure and working it for 8 weeks or more if needed.

How Long Before I Can Get Back To Work Or Exercise After Gynecomastia Surgery?

Most patients take a day or two off before returning to work and other normal daily activities. There should be no strenuous activity (anything that increases your blood pressure) for 2 weeks. Increased cardio and lower body activity can resume after these 2 weeks. Most importantly, upper body or chest workouts may resume incrementally after 4 weeks unless otherwise instructed. Mild tightness and discomfort will persist for up to 4 weeks.

Please note, the above gynecomastia surgery recovery information and timeline are general recommendations and may not apply to every patient. Modifications to the recovery timeline will be discussed with the individual patient at the time of treatment at the AGC.

gynecomastia surgery recovery - focus on posture

Posture, Really?

There are two aspects to gynecomastia surgery recovery. The first is the physical — the initial discomfort that lasts a day or two at most, followed by some more time as the skin begins to retract and the swelling begins to subside. The second – and arguably more important aspect of recovery – is mental. As with many things, we don’t know much about the mental recovery from gynecomastia. I do my best to educate patients though, so I always send them home with a “playbook” of actions that they need to take on a daily basis until they are mentally healed. One of the most important actions is to assume the correct posture – it’s time to lose the “Gyno Hunch” that many men adopt to hide their gynecomastia before seeking treatment.

Importance of PostureWatch

What goes on in the mind is not something we can see, but we can identify poor posture immediately. It’s easy to look at yourself in the mirror and tell when you are not upright with your shoulders back, tall and strong. There isn’t always a mirror around though, so make sure your friends and family help you with this goal. If, like many patients, this hunch was adopted to hide your chest then resuming a strong posture will restore your confidence in yourself. You’ll become that guy who has nothing to hide from the rest of the world. No more humiliation, embarrassment or frustration. No more double shirts, big shirts or sweaters. You’ll be able to go to the pool or beach and finally feel comfortable and confident taking your shirt off!

supplies for gynecomastia surgery recovery

The “Keep Austin Weird” bag

My ever-thoughtful staff has come up with something that helps our patients tremendously — a “Keep Austin Weird” bag that is full of unexpected necessities for your treatment and supplies for gyno surgery recovery. We do the shopping for you so that you can recover in peace. Items like your compression garment are important, but I don’t know many guys who would know or want to go shopping for the Maxi pads that are used as post procedure dressings. And as a small token of your time with us, the tote will hopefully forever remind you of your life-changing experience in Austin, Texas. I hope that whenever you see it, it will bring a big smile to your face, as it should.

If you follow these guidelines, it is likely that you will do perfectly fine — history certainly has proven this to be true. I will keep my end of the bargain and perform world-class gynecomastia surgery. You need to keep your end of the bargain so the final result is something we can both be proud of.

Robert Caridi, MD
Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery
Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS)
Member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
Member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
Founder of the Austin Gynecomastia Center