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When is safe to hit the gym?

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Banobo

When is safe to hit the gym?
« on: March 29, 2009, 08:56:59 AM »
Right peeps, for any of those who use the gym regularly. How long post surgery did you all start training again and how did you break into it again? I'm feeling fit with no restricted movement and i'm two and a half weeks post op. I was thinking about getting back to my workout, abdominals and light Cardio but would really love to do some light weights upper body also. I know it's early and my surgeon said about the 3 week mark should be alright so long as i felt OK but i would also like your opinion on how you's got back into things and how you felt during and after.  ;D



Linkback: https://www.gynecomastia.org/smf/index.php?topic=17264.0

Re: When is safe to hit the gym?
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2009, 09:30:21 AM »
I tell my gynecomastia postop patients that they can resume light cardio 3 weeks after surgery.  They cannot resume use of upper body weights until 6 weeks postop.  Lower body weights: somewhere in between.

Keep this in mind:  For the first 6 weeks or so after, surgery, the more overheated you get, the more the tissues in your chest wall can swell, as you try to cool yourself by dilating blood vessels close to your skin; thus you swell there.

Dr. Pope, M.D.
George H Pope, MD, FACS
Certified - American Board of Plastic Surgery
Orlando Plastic Surgery Center
www.georgepopemd.com
Phone: 407-857-6261

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Banobo

Re: When is safe to hit the gym?
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2009, 10:19:24 AM »
Hiya Dr. Pope thanks for your input, would it be safe to say the longer i wait the safer it would be? i'm very keen to keep my abs in check as they are slowly fading but if it is likely to cause complications i'm quite happy to hold off.

Cheers

Re: When is safe to hit the gym?
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2009, 02:03:09 PM »
My standard regimen is to allow a gradual return to strenuous activities around 3-4 weeks after surgery.  I strongly recommend keeping some type of compression garment (eg UnderArmour, etc) for at least 4-8 weeks after surgery.  You may find that you swell after a work-out -- all the more reason to wear the compression garment.

Dr Jacobs
Dr. Jacobs 
Certified: American Board of Plastic Surgery
Fellow: American College of Surgeons
Practice sub-specialty in Gynecomastia Surgery
815 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10021
Telephone:  (212) 570-6080
Email:  dr.j@elliotjacobsmd.com
Website:  http://www.gynecomastiasurgery.com
Website:  http://www.gynecomastianewyork.com/revi

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Banobo

Re: When is safe to hit the gym?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2009, 02:31:37 PM »
Hi Dr Jacobs, can the effects of swelling after a mild workout say at the 3-4 week mark cause any damage or risk end result in the long run?

One more question for the doctors. When do you advise your patients to start massaging the chest area? and how firm? i have just started massaging my chest with bio oil aiming for the buildup of scar tissue that's forming but not sure how i should be doing it.

I know you may be wondering why i haven't been explained this by my surgeon but i wasn't explained too much about aftercare so most of my learning has come from all the sound minded people on this site.  Thanks to all by the way.

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DrBermant

Re: When is safe to hit the gym?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2009, 03:28:16 PM »
Right peeps, for any of those who use the gym regularly. How long post surgery did you all start training again and how did you break into it again? I'm feeling fit with no restricted movement and i'm two and a half weeks post op. I was thinking about getting back to my workout, abdominals and light Cardio but would really love to do some light weights upper body also. I know it's early and my surgeon said about the 3 week mark should be alright so long as i felt OK but i would also like your opinion on how you's got back into things and how you felt during and after.  ;D

In bodybuilding, no pain no gain.  In healing, ignore the pain and you can hurt the healing.  Swelling is one sign of injury.  For my patients, peak swelling after gynecomastia surgery occurs at the time of my sculpture.  Pushing healing tissues too far too soon can be an issue.  This surgery has similarities to a sprain as far as return to activities.  Time until return to activity depends on the original problem, what was done, skill of the surgeon, and many other factors. 

Hope this helps,

Michael Bermant, MD
Learn More About Gynecomastia

Re: When is safe to hit the gym?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2009, 08:32:29 PM »
Banobo

If you have any swelling after a workout, it will not be detrimental and it will eventually settle down and you will be no worse for it in the long term. 

As for massage, that is an individual concern.  If you massage too vigorously or too early, you may create more swelling. Scar tissue is the body's natural method of healing -- there is nothing bad about it.  What can be troublesome is if there is an excess of scar tissue.  I would therefore defer massage unless/until you have  some indication that there is a build-up of excess scar tissue -- usually this may take 6-8 weeks --sometimes sooner.  I would then massage twice a day, for five minutes each side.  And then be patient.....!

Dr Jacobs

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Banobo

Re: When is safe to hit the gym?
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2009, 10:57:43 PM »
Okay Doctor Jacobs, sound advice and thanks for taking the time out to answer my questions. I think in my case at this early stage what i'm experiencing is mainly swelling and will follow your advice. While on the subject of massaging what would be best used when the time comes to massage, Is bio oil quite a good product to use?

Re: When is safe to hit the gym?
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2009, 06:57:16 AM »
A lot of guys use bio oil.  It is perfectably acceptable.  But so is the least expensive skin cream that you can find -- all you want is a little lubrication between your fingers and your skin when you massage -- and virtually any skin cream will do.

Dr Jacobs

Re: When is safe to hit the gym?
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2009, 04:11:11 PM »
I just went back to the gym, 2 days ago to lift weights.  I have been hitting the gym hard since October and I'm a pretty strong guy and lift very hard (I'm not bragging, but I was bench pressing over 330 lbs. before surgery to give you an idea).

I am exactly 8 weeks and 3 days post-op and I had originally been released by my PS at the 6 week mark.  I personally decided to not go back then because I was still sore and I didn't want to tear anything.  I knew I would want to hit it hard like I was, so I gave it an extra 2 weeks.

I have not lost much strength the almost 3 months I've been out and I only swell a little after chest workouts.  I don't "hurt" at all, althought I feel a slight strain on my left side, which is where I have more scar tissue build up.

Re: When is safe to hit the gym?
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2009, 04:09:26 AM »
Hi SO u mean workout will build more scar tissue? what if i only work shoulders back etc and not gona train direct chest workout, do u think it will still affect the scar tissue?

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DrBermant

Re: When is safe to hit the gym?
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2009, 11:37:00 AM »
Hi SO u mean workout will build more scar tissue? what if i only work shoulders back etc and not gona train direct chest workout, do u think it will still affect the scar tissue?

Working out can be good for the body.  However, injuring healing tissues can cause more severe scars especially injuries that tear apart tissues not yet healed.  Engaging the brain before the body is a general good rule of thumb.

Hope this helps,

Michael Bermant, MD
Learn More About Gynecomastia and Male Breast Reduction

Re: When is safe to hit the gym?
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2009, 11:46:59 AM »
I see, inshort u recomend do not workout when ur in healing stage.

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DrBermant

Re: When is safe to hit the gym?
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2009, 12:04:44 PM »
I see, inshort u recomend do not workout when ur in healing stage.

Actually, I recommend that my patients work out carefully.  I individualize the instructions for each of my patients depending on the original problem, what was done, healing issues, and other factors.
Hope this helps,

Michael Bermant, MD
Learn More About Gynecomastia


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