Recovery After Gynecomastia

First Day Instructions

  • Dr Yates will reach out through the Symplast app.  Send Dr. Yates photos and any questions
  • Get up and walk
  • No lying on your stomach for 3 weeks
  • BRUISING AND SWELLING - A small amount of incisional bleeding is normal.
  • Bruising and swelling are normal and will last for days to weeks.   A large collection of swelling could be a HEMATOMA and needs to be reported to Dr. Yates
  • GARMENT - You can take the garment off to shower. Water directly over incision tape is fine.
  • GARMENT - You will remain in a garment for the first 3 weeks and then it is advised to use a second stage garment such as spanx
  • FOAM - a foam dressing is often placed beneath the garment above the skin.   This foam is intended to provide smooth compression on the treatment area and minimize fluid collections.   Use this foam for the first week
  • DRAINS - If drains were used make sure you’re are stripping them and recording output
  • DRAINS - drains are removed typically at one week as the drainage is less than 30 cc in a 24 hour period
  • BATHING - You can shower with running water directly over the surgical site.   No soaking for 3 weeks
  • SUTURES - Incisional sutures are dissolving and don't need to be removed
  • ACTIVITY - Hematoma is fairly common after excisional gynecomastia surgery if a patient gets back to full exercise too quickly.   It is advised to refrain from all exercise for THREE weeks.   Light exercise such as walking and low impact lower body exercise it fine after the three week mark.
  • Full exercise at SIX weeks.
  • If only liposuction was performed, without excision, the activity can be increased fully by THREE weeks.
  • Your next visit is at three weeks. In-person or online.

Three-Week Instructions

  • Remove incision tape
  • Begin scar cream. Biocorneum, Mederma or Biodermis cream. Apply for 2 months.
  • Send Dr. Yates photos and any questions
  • You are able to resume physical work and moderate exercise
  • Full exercise at 6 weeks
  • The chest size is still a little swollen
  • Areas of firmness and discomfort are common, massage as necessary
  • If you feel you have been treated with exceptional care, leave a review!
  • Schedule an online or in-person follow-up visit at 3 months.

Three-Month Instructions

  • You have no limitations. Check-in with Dr. Yates with photos and any questions


  • You have no limitations. Check-in with Dr. Yates with photos and any questions
  • Return to the office for postoperative photos
  • Leave a kind review 🙂

General Recovery Tips

Bruising and swelling occurs with almost every surgical procedure. Usually, the swelling lasts for only a few days to weeks. There are steps that can be taken before and after surgery to help minimize bruising and swelling… Read More.

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Prepare your house for surgery
1-2 weeks before surgery you should have your childcare, work arrangements, and caretaker lined up. Depending on the procedure you may have a few recovery items on hand. Start with an organized, clean house and full pantry. If you are making meals, simple prep. meals and disposable dinnerware.

Prepare your body for surgery
The weeks before surgery are a good time to maximize a healthy diet and stay on top of exercise. Yoga and heart-healthy exercises are particularly valuable. For almost every procedure stopping smoking 6 weeks before surgery is valuable. For some it is critical. Avoid excessive alcohol and marijuana prior to surgery as well.

Check your medications and supplements
Some medications such as aspirin, fish-oils and some supplements can contribute to bleeding and bruising after surgery. If you would like to take SinnEcch for bruising you would want to do so before surgery. The benefit is mild in Dr. Yates’s opinion but some patients swear by it.

Stay away from illness
Avoid getting sick, wash your hands frequently and avoid contact will people who are ill.

Check the procedure list below for the time you should plan to take off of work or exercise. With most procedures, office work and light exercise are OK between one to three weeks. For most procedures, there are no restrictions after six weeks.

Dr Yates will give you most everything you need after surgery including garments, bra, scar cream, and dressings as indicated. A few recommended additional supplies are

  • Bed that reclines, recliner, or extra bed pillows
  • Icy Hot back patch
  • Loose baggy clothes
  • Paper tape 1″
  • Ice packs
  • Stool Softener
  • Ginger Ale
  • Antacid such as Tums
  • Melatonin (not to be used with pain medications)
  • Benadryl
  • Cortisone cream
  • Neosporin
  • Probiotics or yogurt
  • Second stage Spanx or Flexees for appropriate procedures
  • Flexible straws for drinking
  • Water bottles/ Gatorade
  • Entertainment such as DVD or Netflix
  • Cell phone charger near bed and sofa

Gynecomastia Recovery Tips

You should expect no significant bedrest after breast lift. Get up and walk.

We use rapid recovery methods for all patients. The pain is moderate but usually controlled with Tylenol and Ibuprofen. If narcotics are necessary they are only for 1-2 days.

  • If the procedure was liposuction only you will apply Neosporin once the drainage has slowed.
  • If there was excision of gland tissue, there will be surgical tape on the incision. The tape can be left alone and will be removed at approximately three weeks. The tape is not “holding” the incision together, which is accomplished by internal sutures. The purpose of the tape is to protect the scar. If the tape comes off early apply new tape or leave it alone. Once the tape is removed you will apply scar cream 1-2 x a day to the incisions. Biocorneum, Biodermis, and Mederma are good options. Plan to use scar cream for 2 months.
  • If liposuction you can shower when the drainage has slowed
  • If excision you can shower directly over the incision tape and drains (if used) immediately. Any soaking should wait until the tape is removed at three weeks.

If drains were placed, they were placed to drain the “dead space” where the gland tissue was removed. They will be ready to removed at approximately a week, when the drainage is less than 30 cc in a day. It is important to strip the drains and record their output.

  • If liposuction you can return to light lifting with the arms and a good walk at one week. You may return to moderate lifting with the arms (10-15 lbs) and heavier lower body lifting by three weeks. Full exercise at six weeks.
  • If excision we ask that you refrain from any exercise for 3 weeks. Heavy exercise may resume at 6 weeks

Office and desk work can be resumed right away. For most physical jobs you can return at 3 weeks.

It is safe to resume sexual activity by two to three weeks.

Overaggressive activity can cause problems with healing. In the first week, we are worried about bleeding. This could result in a hematoma and a second trip to the operating room.

The chest will look bruised and swollen immediately after surgery. The swelling resolves from 2 weeks to 3 months after surgery.

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Ask us a question, request a private consultation, or submit a pre-visit questionnaire to Dr. Yates.

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