Healing varies between patients, of course, but a timeline of what to expect is helpful in deciding wether or not to undergo a gynecomastia surgery. Dr. Marwan Khalifeh typically performs this procedure under local anesthesia, and below is what a typical awake gynecomastia patient experiences. This timeline is for patients with direct glandular excision. If your case just requires Smartlipo (such as in pseudogynecomastia), your recovery will mirror laser lipo recovery.
In the first few hours immediately after the gynecomastia procedure is finished, Dr. Khalifeh’s team will place a male compression vest to compress the procedure site. You will also have a drain placed to collect the fluid that your body produces for the next few days. There will be some fluid leaking (most of which is the original tumescent fluid that was placed for the numbing), but for the most part the fluid will come out the drains. For any discomfort you will be given a mild narcotic such as Lortab, and your chest muscles will feel sore, as if you had a very intense workout. Antibiotics will also be prescribed, and your diet will remain normal. You will be able to move about and take care of yourself at home, although Dr. Khalifeh recommends having someone to help for the first night.
By then end of Day 1, most of the fluid will have drained. Your regular movement will be more fluid. You may require a few pills of your pain medication, and you will want to take the day off of work to help with the recovery. Dr. Khalifeh recommends leaving the garment on until 72 hours post surgery, but you can sponge bathe and wash yourself around the garment to feel cleaner.
Most people return to work on Day 3. You will still be wearing your compression garment fitted under your work clothes, but your drain can be easily hidden under a loose shirt.
By Days 5-7, you will be able to do some minor, non-impact aerobic exercises (such as walking). You will have a follow-up appointment with Dr. Khalifeh, and the drain will be removed. You will start to see some of the results, but you will also still have some swelling and bruising at this point. By now, you will feel almost back to normal.
At this point, the garment becomes optional, and many people choose to stop wearing it. Most people will now return to their usual exercise regimen for lower body only. Sexual activity can also be resumed at this point. You will start appreciating and seeing your results, although there will still be some swelling. The small incisions will have healed by now.
This will mark your one-month follow up with Dr. Khalifeh to make sure you are continuing to heal well. The incisions will have have healed, but may still be a little red.
Around Day 90, you will have a three-month follow-up with Dr. Khalifeh. At 90 days, you will see 90% of the results. This is usually when post-op pictures are taken. There will still be some minor swelling which will continue to improve over the next several months. This is an appropriate time to decide if a touch-up is needed.
The incisions will become harder and harder to see.