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Key Points

  • Your incision might drain for five to seven days after surgery, but the drainage should lessen each day.
  • Avoid strenuous activity for two weeks after surgery.

Gynecomastia surgery is performed to remove enlarged breast tissue in males. 

The information in this handout will help you plan for what to expect as you recover from this procedure. 



Before surgery, you and your family might choose to buy two compression vests, if desired. The ACE bandages and vests are used to support the surgical area and help prevent seroma formation (fluid collections) at the surgical site after surgery. You also can use elastic (ACE) bandages, instead of the compression vests. If you are interested in purchasing compression vests, please contact our office at 651- 602-3277


The Surgery

Gynecomastia surgery is a same day surgery procedure, meaning you will come to the hospital the day of your surgery and then will go home the same day. 

After you are asleep, the surgeon makes an incision at the border of the areolas, or the colored area of the nipples. The nipples are lifted and extra breast tissue is removed. The nipples are put back in place and the incisions are closed with stitches that are absorbed by your body in two to three weeks. These stitches will not need to be removed. Steri-strips, or white paper bandages are placed over your stitches. The incisions are covered with gauze bandages, and then an ACE bandage. 

As soon as you are awake and comfortable, you can go home. We will send you home with an extra ACE bandage and a prescription for pain medicine. Tylenol and Ibuprofen also are used after surgery for less severe pain.


Home Care After Surgery

Bathing and Showering 

Showering is allowed on the first day after your surgery. You should shower daily. You need to gently pat the incisions dry. 

Don’t take a bath or soak the surgical incisions until your incisions are completely healed. 

Incision Site Care 

It is not uncommon for your incision sites to appear bruised and drain bloody fluid for several days. The drainage might last for up to five to seven days but should lessen each day. 

After surgery you will have an ACE bandage wrapped around your chest. This must be worn at all times, day and night, for two weeks. You may only remove the bandage for showering. The ACE wrap should be comfortably snug so it keeps the incision area supported. But it should not cause you pain, discomfort or difficulty breathing. 

Compression vest that are approved by our staff can be worn instead of the ACE bandages. These vests need to be worn day and night for two weeks. You can only remove the vest when showering. 

Exercise and Activity 

Avoid strenuous physical activity for two weeks. 

  • Sports, such as running, hockey, basketball, football, wrestling, snowboarding, soccer, swimming and baseball are not allowed. 
  • Do not lift anything greater than ten pounds for two weeks. 
  • Swimming in lakes, oceans, pools, and sitting in hot tubs are not allowed for two to three weeks. 
  • Do not drive while taking prescription pain medicines. 

Return to Work or School 

Returning to work or school is allowed when you are feeling comfortable. If you have an active or strenuous job, you might need to take it easy at work for a few weeks. Students will have gym restrictions for two weeks. 

Following Up with Your Surgeon 

You will have an appointment with your surgeon three weeks following surgery to check on your incision sites and healing. 


Questions or Concerns

Call Telehealth Nursing (651-229-3890) if you have any questions or concerns about: 

  • Excessive bleeding or warmth at the incision 
  • Red streaks near the incision 
  • Purulent, thick yellow or green drainage 
  • Foul odor from the incision 
  • Increasing pain or tenderness not relieved by pain medicine 
  • Fever of 101.5 or greater 

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team. If you are a Gillette patient with urgent questions or concerns, please contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890.