After Man Boob Surgery, is it Normal to…
We know that many guys do a great deal of wondering after gynecomastia surgery. Our New York patients call with questions from time to time, and from the amount of post-op worries guys post on gynecomastia.org, we know that it’s certainly not unusual to puzzle over certain conditions.
We’ve written about frequent questions quite often, but let’s round up some of the main concerns all in one place.
As you heal from man boob surgery, is it normal to:
• See frequent swelling changes
Yes! The bad news about swelling is it’s unpredictable and fluctuating. That’s just the nature of a post-op surgery site as the body marshals its forces to protect and heal. The good news is that you can do a lot to help keep swelling to a minimum, including wearing your compression garment, resting horizontally as much as you can, avoiding too much activity too soon and watching your diet.
Before you head into surgery, know that swelling is unavoidable and subject to change over the next few weeks and months. Be sure to understand the information your plastic surgeon gives you about this.
• Develop lumps post-op
We know that developing lumps several days to a few weeks after man boob surgery can be distressing for patients. We can’t count the number of times we’ve responded to guys online about this, men who are often afraid that breast gland is coming back.
Most often, these areas of thickened tissue are simply subcutaneous scars. It’s surprising for some patients to learn that scarring doesn’t start right away after surgery, and that scar tissue changes with time. In fact, the entire healing process is pretty interesting—you can read more about it here. We usually urge our New York gynecomastia patients not to panic if they feel lumps; we can evaluate what’s happening in a regular post-op appointment. Naturally we are happy to talk online or in person as needed.
• Notice asymmetry while healing
The swelling that comes and goes can happen all over or more on one side. It’s not at all unusual for asymmetry to be noticeable. If you do observe that one side of your chest is larger than the other, or you see size differences coming and going, there’s usually no reason to be alarmed. If there’s a distinct pocket of fluid, if you experience pain or if you’re worried about what’s happening, get in touch with your doctor.
• Develop a fluid-filled sac
When fluid builds up in a specific location under the skin, rather than spread out over your moobs like normal swelling, you could have a seroma or hematoma. Developing one of these post-op complications is not exactly normal, but they do happen.
Seromas are sacs of clear fluid that accumulates as tissues weep after trauma. If the bulge is large, painful or bothersome for a patient, we can drain it in a quick office visit. Otherwise “watchful waiting” is perfectly ok as fluid is eventually reabsorbed. Hematomas are similar but contain blood instead of clear serum. We often elect to drain hematomas. We advise our New York gynecomastia patients to let us know if they think they’ve developed a sac filled with fluid so we can determine the best course of action.
• Feel less enthusiastic than expected
Most guys we work with are elated after their moobs are gone, it’s true. But occasionally one of our patients will take a little extra time to adjust. Sometimes a man who has been obsessed with his physique prior to surgery just can’t give up feeling the same way afterward, and that’s usually not the path to immediate satisfaction. We also meet patients from time to time who just can’t get used to their new appearance and still feel compelled to hide their chest.
If they don’t feel joyful right away, we usually find our New York gynecomastia patients adjust over a few weeks’ time. It is not at all unusual to need that time to get used to a new physique. We caution patients prior to surgery that a “new lease on life” may happen automatically or may take longer.
Every board certified plastic surgeon worth considering will give you information about what you can expect after surgery, including possible complications. They will talk you through the recovery period as well, and invite your questions afterward as needed. We hope this information may also help you feel at ease about some of the more normal conditions you may experience.
We would be pleased if you’d like to work with us in New York. Gynecomastia has been a specialty of our practice for decades and we would be happy to meet you.
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