The Side Effects of Male Breast Reduction Surgery

Having a well-defined chest is often easier said than done. Even with proper exercise, excessive fat and glandular tissue can cause men to have chests that look too effeminate. This condition is known as gynecomastia. Male breast reduction can help undo the cosmetic problems related to the condition.

The team at our Philadelphia, PA plastic surgery center has helped many men thanks to male breast reduction. We’d like to take a moment to consider the most common side effects associated with the surgery so you have realistic expectations about the recovery and healing process.

Pain and Discomfort

A certain amount of pain and discomfort is to be expected after any kind of plastic surgery procedure. Thankfully this pain after male breast reduction is manageable and will subside with each passing day following surgery. Be sure to focus on rest the first day or so after surgery to help with the healing process.

Your plastic surgeon may prescribe painkillers to take during the first days after the surgery. Take them only as directed. You can transition to over-the-counter pain relievers as your recovery progresses. Again, take the OTC pain medication only as directed.

Bruising after Surgery

Bruising is unavoidable after surgery simply given the nature of the body. The bruising will be most pronounced in the first few days following male breast reduction, especially around the incision sites.

The bruising should mostly subside after two weeks, with some residual discoloration lasting a week or so after that. By the end of a month, post-surgical bruising should not be a significant issue. Be sure to walk a bit each day as part of healing to promote blood circulation. This can help with various post-op side effects.

Swelling after Surgery

Swelling often accompanies bruising after plastic surgery. Thankfully the swelling is just temporary. Major swelling will typically occur for the first two weeks of healing, with residual swelling lasting for two weeks after that. Some minor swelling may persist around the chest for a few more weeks, though this is a normal part of healing.

Patients can manage swelling and discomfort by applying a cold compress as directed. This usually means about 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off as comfort dictates. The minor swelling after the first month of recovery tends to be hard to notice.

Itching and Numbness Around the Chest

Nerves and other soft tissues are affected by the male breast reduction procedure. As a result, some patients notice itchiness around their chest as well as occasional numbness and tingling. This is normal, and patients should avoid scratching their chest or touching it too much as they are recovering. These side effects will subside in the weeks after surgery.

Post-surgical Scarring

Scarring is unavoidable after any surgical procedure. Thankfully, the scars from male breast reduction are well hidden and difficult to detect. Scarring will be visible for the first few weeks after surgery. With each passing month, the scars will fade. All efforts are made to ensure scarring is minimal, which enhances overall aesthetic results in the short term and the long run.

What if My Side Effects Do Not Improve?

If your side effects do not improve or become worse as you are recovering, it’s of the utmost importance that you contact your plastic surgeon as soon as possible. These may be indications of a medical complication that requires immediate attention.

Learn More about Male Breast Reduction

For more information about male breast reduction and how it can help you look and feel great, be sure to contact our team of cosmetic surgeons. The team at Jefferson Plastic Surgery is here to help you look and feel great again.

Questions? Email us today.

To make or reschedule an appointment please complete the form below or call:  (215) 625-6630.

CALL US TODAY: (215)625-6630


Jefferson Plastic Surgery is located on the corner of 9th and Walnut streets in Center City, Philadelphia on the 15th floor of the Wills Eye Hospital Building.

Jefferson Plastic Surgery
840 Walnut Street - 15th Floor
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
Phone: (215) 625-6630
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