Male breast reduction surgery is performed on men who have overlarge breasts due to excess tissue, redundant skin, and/or superficial fat. Meanwhile, the length of recovery depends on many factors such as the surgical technique and amount of correction.
The surgery comes in many techniques, depending on the type of correction a person needs. Oftentimes, male breast reduction involves skin excisions to remove the excess tissue and fat, although others can benefit from liposuction-only procedure as long as the “enlargement” is primarily caused by fat and they have elastic skin.
And for some patients, they can benefit more with skin excision plus liposuction for further contouring, leading body contouring surgeon Dr. Tarick Smaili said.
With liposuction-alone surgery, patients can resume most of their normal activities just after three days. This is because the procedure only involves the use of round incisions as small as a grain of rice where doctors remove the excess fat with a cannula, which is a slender steel probe attached to a vacuum pump.
But the traditional way to perform male breast reduction requires skin and tissue removal, thus it uses long incisions that are usually positioned within the natural breast crease and around the edges of areola.
Because of skin excisions, pain and discomfort is a normal part of recovery. Most patients will need painkillers for three to four days to help them cope with the post-op symptoms.
Most doctors require their patients to take at least a week off from work to get enough rest and sleep during the most crucial period of their recovery. While it is important to stay away from heavy lifting and strenuous exercises for a week or two, taking short gentle walks several times a day is highly encouraged because it improves healing and blood flow.
Walking and other light exercises can also reduce risk of blood clotting in the legs that may travel up to the lungs.
To support the new contour and protect the incision site, most patients are instructed to wear compression garments for at least three weeks. And with continuous use, some doctors feel that it may improve the result to some degree as the skin heals closer to the body.
While the incisions may appear completely healed, it is not uncommon to have some minor skin irregularities or “bumps” that can persist for up to three weeks. But as with any post-op symptoms, they are supposed to subside as the body heals itself.