Gynecomastia Post-Op FAQs

How long is the downtime after gynecomastia procedure?

This really varies from person to person. The length of time you’ll need to recuperate will depend on how serious your case is (and therefore how extensive your surgery was/will need to be), the surgical techniques used, and a huge range of factors that determine your healing speed after surgery and your general physical traits. As a rule, a procedure that lasts 1-2 hours and includes incision and liposuction will put you in bed for 48 to 72 hours. After that, you’ll need to follow instructions and refrain from strenuous exercise and some types of movement for a further 4 to 6 weeks.

What are patients not allowed to do after gynecomastia surgery?

For the first 48-72 hours, probably everything except using the bathroom and possibly eating. After three days of complete bed rest, you can resume most light daily activities, but you should avoid rigorous stretching, using any exercise equipment, lifting anything ‘heavier than a kettle’ (as in for a cup of tea, not a kettle weight). You’ll need to avoid working out for at least 4 weeks, and ensure that you get plenty of sleep and enough water and nutrients to help your body get through the recovery process quicker.

Are patients allowed to go out of town after surgery?

Patients are advised to stay within 10-20 miles of their specialist for a minimum of a week following surgery. You’ll probably be asked to schedule an immediate follow up appointment within a week of surgery to check that there haven’t been any unforseen complications or reactions, and that your scars are healing correctly. Schedule time off work or rebook that vacation you had planned if necessary – you don’t want to end up being treated by someone in a hurry without understanding your medical history. If you’re unsure whether it’s safe to make a journey further afield, just ask your doctor first, and take a summary of your medical history with you.

Why are patients required to wear compression garments?

Specially-made compression garments help to keep swelling down, reduce bruising, minimise discomfort from chafing bandages and aching tissues, and can in fact help you achieve a much better long term result from surgery. An increasing number of athletes wear compression garments after surgery, and likewise women after childbirth. Pregnancy can stretch and tear abdominal muscles, which, left to heal on their own, tend to heal looser and further apart than their previous position. The elastic in compression garments keeps a very gentle but powerful uniform pressure on your torso, helping tissues, muscles and skin to heal evenly and tightly.

What different kinds of compression garments are there?

You can choose from various types of post-op compression garments. There are purpose-designed gynecomastia shirts, general compression vests, concealer and ‘shaper’ garments, and girdles. After 4 weeks, a general exercise-designed compression garment is usually recommended to suit an increasingly active lifestyle. Modern technology is improving the effectiveness of materials and weaves for compression garments every year, and the comfort and results you can achieve with them are improving as well.

How tight should your compression garment be?

Your compression garment has to deliver enough pressure to keep your swelling down, but it should be firm rather than tight. It should be snug, but make sure that you can take a full breath (although expanding you lungs all the way right after surgery might be painful for other reasons- you’ll have to use your judgement). Your first compression garment is usually chosen and fitted for you right after surgery in the operation suite. You’ll receive advice on when to replace it with a more active type of shirt, and hopefully you’ll be recommended the best size and pressure for you as well as where you can get one locally. Big hospitals may have stocks that they sell to patients- just ask.