How to Manage Gynecomastia Surgery Post-Surgery Pain and Discomfort

How to Manage Gynecomastia Surgery Post-Surgery Pain and Discomfort

Gynecomastia is a condition that causes excess breast tissue in males as well as other symptoms, which can have a negative impact on an individual’s self-esteem and mental health. For cases of true gynecomastia, gynecomastia surgery is the most effective treatment option for permanent results. However, before choosing to undergo any form of surgery, it is important to understand what to expect post-op. Read on for an overview of what to expect following gynecomastia surgery and how to manage any discomfort.

What to Expect After Gynecomastia Surgery

Ultimately, the recovery time following surgery depends on the individual patient, the invasiveness of the surgery, and how well the patient adheres to aftercare instructions. However, the typical recovery time for most patients is 4-6 weeks.

For the first few days directly after surgery, you may experience discomfort, tenderness, and tightness in the chest area. Some people may also experience some nausea from the anesthesia used during the procedure. Swelling of the chest area is also to be expected, which can be reduced with the use of a chest compression garment.

By weeks 3-4, compression garments may no longer be required. The majority of swelling and bruising should be resolved, revealing more accurate visual results of the procedure.

By week 6 the recovery process should be near or at completion. Most patients will be able to freely return to most forms of exercise, including movements that put a strain on the chest area. Some mild swelling may still be noticeable in the pectoralis majors, which will naturally resolve over the next couple of weeks.

Pain Management

Mild to moderate pain or discomfort is to be expected following any type of surgery, especially during the first few days. Over-the-counter or prescription pain medication can help with this. Pain severity will depend on the individual and their tolerance level. While some discomfort is to be expected, please do not hesitate to reach out to Dr. Delgado if you are experiencing severe pain or are unsure if you are healing properly.

Tips For a Quick Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery

The healing process following gynecomastia surgery is usually quite easy. While Dr. Delgado will provide you with specific post-surgery instructions, here are some basic tips to help ensure a speedy recovery.

  • Wear your compression garment as directed. You will be required to wear a compression garment to ensure proper healing of the chest for the best possible outcomes.
  • Attend all post-op appointments with Dr. Delgado, which are imperative to ensure proper healing.
  • Cold compresses can be applied to the chest to help reduce swelling and discomfort. However, you should never apply an ice pack directly to the skin! Instead, place an ice pack in a cloth or towel and then place it against your skin.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day.
  • Sleep on your back. Propping yourself up with pillows can help this position feel more comfortable after your male breast reduction surgery.
  • Limit any physical activity until you are cleared by Dr. Delgado. For one month following surgery, you should avoid chest and arm exercises. Full body training can often be resumed about one month following surgery. An inability to follow these guidelines may delay healing.

Gynecomastia Specialist in San Francisco

If you are considering gynecomastia surgery or would like to learn more about this treatment option, please contact Dr. Delgado today. A highly skilled board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Delgado has been treating patients with gynecomastia for over 30 years and is committed to providing natural-looking surgical outcomes for his patients.

Gynecomastia FAQs

Are there other procedures that can be combined with gynecomastia surgery?

Another common procedure that can be performed in conjunction with gynecomastia surgery is nipple reduction surgery. More surgery options can be found on

What causes gynecomastia in males?

Gynecomastia can be caused by hormonal imbalance, specific medicines, drugs, or anabolic steroid use.

What are some common complications associated with gynecomastia surgery?

As with any form of surgery, there is a risk of complications with gynecomastia surgery. These may include but are not limited to, bruising, bleeding, wound infections, allergic reactions, asymmetries, loose breast skin, and more. However, when performed by a skilled, board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Delgado, these risks are greatly reduced.

Note: If you ever experience trouble breathing, chest pain, or rapid blood loss following any type of surgical procedure, it is deemed a medical emergency and you should seek medical attention immediately.

What are the most common symptoms of gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is often characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Enlarged or excess tissue in the breast area
  • Puffiness beneath the nipple
  • Nipple discomfort/pain
  • Nipple discharge

Are all cases of gynecomastia treated the same?

Overall treatment depends on your individual symptoms, your desired outcomes, and your overall health. For example, severe cases of gynecomastia may be treated differently than mild cases.

How do I prepare for gynecomastia surgery?

Prior to your surgery, Dr. Delgado may have you adjust or stop certain medications such as blood thinners, stop smoking, and more. Preparation steps can be discussed during your consultation appointment.

What to Expect During Your Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery

What to Expect During Your Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery

Gynecomastia surgery, also called male breast reduction surgery, can be a life-changing procedure for males living with excess tissue in their breasts. If you have decided to undergo gynecomastia surgery, you are probably wondering what your recovery period will look like. Read on to learn more about what to expect during male breast reduction, and how you can best increase your odds for the best results.

Male Breast Reduction Aftercare Basics

During your gynecomastia surgery, drains may be placed temporarily under the skin to drain away any excess blood or fluid that may collect. When you wake up from anesthesia, your drains will already be placed and will need to be kept in place for a set amount of time. Dr. Delgado will give you instructions on how to empty your drains at home and let you know when it’s time to remove your drains.

You will also be asked to wear a special compression garment to help support your new chest contour. Be sure to follow Dr. Delgado’s specific instructions regarding protective and compression garments. Dressings or bandages will be applied to your incisions and a support garment may be used to help minimize swelling.

You may also be prescribed pain medication to help with any initial discomfort. It is important that you take your medication as prescribed and do not deviate from that prescription.

Exercise Following Gynecomastia Surgery

Many patients are eager to know when they can return to their workout routines. While post-surgery requirements previously prescribed six weeks of downtown, newer methods allow for patients to return to their regular routines quicker. When returning to exercise following surgery, go slow to minimize the risks of complications.

For at least one month following your surgery, avoid chest and arm exercises or any strenuous exercise that strains the treatment area. You may feel free to start light lower body exercises such as light cardio or using a Peloton. Do not push yourself and be sure to listen to your body. Be patient; you will be able to return to your routine soon. Most patients can return to exercise including upper body weights after six weeks, but should slowly ease back into a routine.

Those with a desk job at home can often return to work after 3-4 days, and in the office after 5-7 days. You can return to driving a vehicle once you have completed taking pain medication. Drains will be removed after 3-4 days, after which you will become more mobile and can enjoy leaving the house to run short errands, go out to eat, etc. 

Signs to Look Out For 

While the chances for complications are greatly reduced when gynecomastia surgery is performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Delgado, all forms of invasive surgery do come with certain risks. If you notice an abnormal amount of aching, discomfort, unusual pains, redness, shortness of breath, or an unusual heartbeat, seek immediate medical attention. Do not hesitate to reach out to our office if you have any questions or concerns.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are interested in learning more about gynecomastia surgery in San Francisco and if you are an ideal candidate, please contact us today to fill out our online form. Your first step will be to schedule a one-on-one consultation appointment with Dr. Delgado. 

Male Breast Reduction Surgery FAQs

What is the cost of male breast reduction surgery in San Francisco?

The cost of male breast reduction surgery may vary depending on a multitude of factors. If you are interested in learning more about male breast reduction cost in San Francisco, please contact Dr. Delgado’s office today.

Will Hormone Imbalances go away after male breast reduction?

If you have hormonal imbalances it is best to address those before gynecomastia surgery. This is because the surgery alone will not be able to correct hormonal imbalance.

What is glandular tissue in the breasts?

Glandular tissue in the breasts is the part of the breasts that are made up of lobules and ducts. Males with gynecomastia will have excess glandular tissue on their chest. Male breast reduction surgery can help to achieve a more masculine chest appearance.

Is a Surgical Procedure the Only Gynecomastia Treatment?

Males with gynecomastia that is not due to weight gain often see the best results with male breast reduction surgery. This procedure will remove excess glandular tissue to achieve a flatter chest contour.

What Causes Gynecomastia?

Hormone imbalance, certain medications, anabolic steroids, and marijuana are all possible causes of true gynecomastia in males. Men who are overweight and have large male breasts due to excess fat in the chest area have “psuedogynecomastia”.

What Can I Expect During My Initial Consultation?

During your initial consultation, you will meet with Dr. Delgado in person or virtually. You will then discuss your gynecomastia concerns, why you desire male breast reduction in San Francisco, the ideal way to treat gynecomastia, your options for eliminating excess breast tissue, excess fat, and excess skin, and more. Dr. Delgado will work with you to determine the ideal surgical option to help you achieve a flatter, firmer male chest.

Is the Male Breast Reduction Procedure Plastic Surgery?

Yes, gynecomastia surgery is considered a plastic surgery procedure. When performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Delgado, you can achieve amazing results. 


How to Avoid Scarring After Gynecomastia Surgery

How to Avoid Scarring After Gynecomastia Surgery

When men are looking into gynecomastia surgery for a more masculine-looking chest, one of the most common concerns is what their scar might look like following the procedure. In many cases, incisions are necessary to adequately remove glandular tissue, skin, and fat that might be contributing to enlarged breast shape. However, this doesn’t mean that your incisions will lead to unsightly scars, especially if you know how to take care of them in the days, weeks, and months following your procedure.

Causes of Surgical Scars

Not all surgeries necessarily result in scars that others notice when they see the place where it was performed. At the same time, whenever the skin is damaged, it heals in particular ways, often creating fine lines of scar tissue, red lines, or other markers of is history. This is because your skin does one of several things when it heals: it creates extra collagen – supportive proteins that provide internal structure between skin cells – and responds to your body’s wound-healing process, involving the immune system, platelets, and inflammation. These all contribute to the final long-lasting appearance of any wound, from a scraped knee to a surgical scar.

When it comes to surgery, scarring is influenced by three major things:

  • The surgeon’s skill
  • The location of the incision
  • The type of surgery

With precise incision markings, creation, and sealing, surgeries don’t have to result in deep scars. An experienced gynecomastia surgeon like Dr. Miguel Delgado makes precise incisions with minimal invasiveness to prevent excess scarring. There are additional risk factors, however, that can contribute to unsightly wounds after surgery.

Risk Factors for Adverse Scarring

Not everyone is an ideal candidate for gynecomastia surgery with little scarring. Risk factors like age, lifestyle habits, or other unchangeable scenarios can change your reaction to the surgery.

Lifestyle Habits

One of the most commonly instructed preparation steps before surgery of any kind is to stop smoking if you currently do. Smoking inhibits the immune system to the point where the skin doesn’t heal as quickly or effectively as non-smokers. Other behaviors, such as frequent sun exposure without protection or exposure to certain environmental pollutants can also hinder the skin’s ability to heal, resulting in worse scars after gynecomastia surgery.


Older people have less collagen throughout their body, meaning their skin isn’t as tight, resilient, or elastic, which plays into how they heal after surgery. The older you have surgery, the less likely it is that your results will be unnoticeable.


Finally, at the end of the day, some people simply heal better following wounds or surgery because of their genetics. The healing process is complicated but involves more than just surface-level factors. Some people literally have thicker, more resilient skin that doesn’t produce visible scars no matter how invasive the procedure or where it’s performed.

Preventing Adverse Scarring

Besides eliminating habits like smoking, there may be a few things you can do to help prevent persistent scar tissue from forming after gynecomastia surgery. Research shows that eating plenty of protein along with a balanced diet provides the nutrients your skin needs to heal effectively following gynecomastia surgery.

Not only for scarring, but also for complete, quick recovery, it’s important to follow all of your doctor’s directions for recovering from your specific male breast reduction surgery. You should clean your wound as instructed, follow care guidelines, and change any bandages as necessary.

Finally, keep pressure and tension off your incision sites as much as physically possible. This means refraining from lifting anything but light objects, avoiding strenuous activities, and performing therapeutic exercises to prevent undue stress on the vulnerable site.

Gynecomastia Scar Treatment

There may be additional ways beyond minimizing risk factors for extensive scarring to help you enjoy the most benefits from your male breast reduction surgery. By consulting with a highly experienced gynecomastia expert like Dr. Miguel Delgado, you can find out what your ideal surgery might look like, especially after the procedure itself. Learn more about gynecomastia and your options for treatment by browsing our leading gynecomastia forum.

Will My Skin Sag After Gynecomastia Surgery?

Will My Skin Sag After Gynecomastia Surgery?

Patient Shares His Gynecomastia Surgery Journey

Most of the patients have degrees of gynecomastia that are not excessively saggy, and so in these instances, the skin elasticity will ensure that the skin snaps appropriately into a more aesthetically pleasing position. The common question is will my skin sag after gynecomastia surgery?

Will my skin sag after gynecomastia surgery?

Due to the high volume of patients, I see regarding their gynecomastia concerns over the years, I have designed a customized 4-step gynecomastia surgery program called 4D Chest Remodelling. It reduces fat tissues and removes excess glandular tissues while stimulating the production of subdermal collagen to induce tissue remodeling and production of new collagen and elastin.”

Unlike the standard gynecomastia surgery, 4D Chest Remodelling is a more complex treatment modality especially planned for those whose ultimate objective is to achieve a flatter and sculpted chest using high definition body sculpting technique.

Step 1: Gynecomastia Surgery

Gynecomastia is commonly caused by hormone imbalance and is the result of excess glandular and/or fatty breast tissues in men. It comes in a variety of degrees from very mild to significant enlargement. Gynecomastia surgery is still the best option to address the issue effectively.

Step 2: Fat Tissue Removal

For those who not only have enlarged glands tissue but also fat accumulation, fat reduction will be carried out. VASER® Lipo is a less invasive form of liposuction. Unlike the standard liposuction, it can precisely target problem areas without causing damage to surrounding tissues. This leaves a more contoured and defined appearance.

Step 3: Subdermal Collagen Production Stimulation with VASER® Lipo

Collagen is important as it gives structure to our skin, bones, and all other connective tissue. VASER® Lipo is not only effective in removing excess fat; it also stimulates collagen production and skin retraction resulting in smoother skin.

Step 4: Nipple Reduction in 4D Chest Remodelling

Gynecomastia patients also may experience nipple issues. 4D Chest Remodelling® can help reduce their sizes for a more symmetrical nipple-areola creating a more masculine appearance.

4D Chest Remodelling will significantly lower the risk of skin sag after gynecomastia surgery.


Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery: The Importance Of The Compression Vest

Gynecomastia Surgery Recovery: The Importance Of The Compression Vest

Following gynecomastia surgery, a compression vest may be part of your post-surgery recovery. Compression vests are specially designed garments that compress and support the chest area following a surgical procedure in order to reduce swelling and support the new body contour. Read on to learn more about the importance of compression vests and what role they play in the healing process.

The Importance of the Compression Vest

Not all surgeons require a compression vest after surgery, and some for only a short time. Dr. Delgado has his gynecomastia patients wear a compression vest 24/7 for 6 weeks after surgery. Two vests are provided, one at the time of surgery, which is heavier with an elastic-velcro strap to reduce bleeding.  The second is applied after the drains are out and is lighter, shorter, and easy to camouflage under a shirt. The vests may be a little uncomfortable but is necessary for the healing process. They should be worn snugly, but not tight.

Dr. Miguel Delgado recommends the vest be worn 24/7 for 4 to 6 weeks, depending on how the patient is healing. The vest should only be removed when showering.

The purpose of the vest is to aid the skin to contract. The vest helps increase the flow of blood and prevent the collection of excess fluid. Additionally, the compression vest controls the amount of swelling and aids in binding the chest tissues, all while decreasing post-op pain.

After initial healing, Dr. Delgado has his patients graduate to a second vest that is thinner and has a lining of soft T-shirt material with compression in the chest area only. Men who wear dress shirts state that these vests are not visible and more comfortable.

Schedule a Gynecomastia Surgery Consultation

Patients in San Francisco and the Bay Area who are seeking a permanent solution to their gynecomastia can trust Dr. Delgado to provide natural-looking and optimal results. If you are interested in learning more about gynecomastia, male breast reduction, what to expect post-surgery regarding male compression vests, and more, please contact Dr. Delgado today to schedule a consultation appointment in Novato or San Francisco, CA.

Compression Vest FAQs

How tight should the compression vest be after gynecomastia surgery?

The garment should fit snugly but not so tight that you have trouble breathing or you develop wounds or blisters from the compression.

What happens if I don’t wear a compression vest after gynecomastia surgery?

Wearing a compression vest after surgery is recommended to minimize swelling and bruising, which can result in a shorter wound healing time. Compression vests also help to prevent hematomas.

Can I take my compression vest off for a few hours?

While you are free to take your compression vest off to bathe or wash, it is essential that you wear it as directed by Dr. Delgado. For questions regarding compression vests, please contact our office today.

What will happen if I stop wearing my compression garment?

Not wearing your compression garment can greatly increase the risk of noticeable scarring, prolonged swelling, and bruising. 


After Gynecomastia Surgery, What Does The Male Chest Look Like?

After Gynecomastia Surgery, What Does The Male Chest Look Like?

If you have chosen to undergo male breast reduction surgery to correct enlarged male breasts, it is understandable that you may have questions regarding the procedure. Understanding what to expect after gynecomastia surgery can help to ease anxiety and make you feel more comfortable about the experience.

The goal of this procedure, of course, is to correct gynecomastia, reduce the size of the male breast and to leave a masculine-contoured chest. Removing too much breast tissue may result in a “crater deformity” and may necessitate further surgery. If not enough excess tissue is removed, additional surgery may also be needed. It is important to choose a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who specializes in gynecomastia to ensure you see the best possible results.

What to Expect After Your Male Breast Reduction Procedure

After surgery, you will most likely be wearing a compression garment to help support the new chest contour and avoid complications. You will also have drains in place. After two or three days the drains will be removed. The sutures are usually removed after one week. The compression vest is to be worn 24/7 for six weeks and is only to be removed when showering. Showering is allowed when the drain incisions have completely closed in about two to three days after removal. When the vest is removed, men need to understand what they see is not the final result of their male breast reduction. The incisions around the bottom half of the areola are evident, but when they have healed, they are almost invisible due to the change in skin texture.

The drain incision, which is very small, can leave a visible scar on the side of the chest. However, sensitive to men’s comments about the drain scar, Dr. Miguel Delgado now positions the drain incision high in the armpit area and is well hidden. Viewing the chest at the early healing stage can be very disconcerting for many patients.

Swelling is normal after any cosmetic or plastic surgery procedure and is part of the natural healing process, it can last for several weeks, and some residual swelling can last several months. Swelling occurs to increase blood supply to the surgical area; this is to bring extra nutrients that promote healing. The inflammation also helps fight off infections. However, excess swelling and inflammation need to be watched closely for a possible hematoma, an abnormal collection of blood outside of a blood vessel.

When viewing your surgical results a few days after surgery, do not be alarmed if your chest still looks full. As the swelling subsides, the true contour of the chest will become evident, and the ability to go shirtless will finally be a reality. According to many postings on the website, it is clear that many men are concerned about their puffy nipples after surgery. This has the potential of becoming a problem if all the swelling has subsided. Usually, if puffy nipples remain, it is an indication that not enough breast tissue was removed from behind the nipple, especially if liposuction alone was performed and there wasn’t any excision of breast tissue. This can be corrected but entails another surgery. Choose your gynecomastia surgeon carefully!

After Gynecomastia Surgery

Schedule a Consultation

If you are interested in learning more about gynecomastia surgery in San Francisco, please contact Dr. Delgado’s office today. Your first step will be to schedule a one on one consultation to determine the best plan of action for you to achieve the desired result.

Gynecomastia San Francisco FAQs

What can I expect during my initial consultation?

During your consultation appointment with Dr. Delgado, you will discuss your medical history and any current medical conditions, and a physical exam may be performed. He will then speak with you regarding which surgical procedure is right for you to achieve optimal results.

What causes gynecomastia in males?

There are an array of possible causes of gynecomastia. The most common cause is a hormonal imbalance between estrogen and testosterone. However, anabolic steroids and certain medications can also cause excess breast tissue and glandular tissue in males.

What is false gynecomastia?

False gynecomastia, also called pseudo gynecomastia, is a term used to describe enlarged breasts in males due to weight gain. This condition can commonly be corrected with weight loss from a healthy diet and exercise.