Gynaecomastia is a common condition where there is an excessive amount of male breast tissue. The frustrating condition can make you feel self-conscious and really impact your confidence. You can treat gynaecomastia with male breast reduction surgery. Naturally, you will have a lot of questions about your surgery. Often, patients want to know when they can start working out following the surgery. Let’s dive in.
What is Male Breast Reduction Surgery?
Male breast reduction is a procedure to remove excess male breast tissue. The surgeon makes an incision around the areola, which is the dark bit of skin around the nipple. If necessary, your surgeon will use male liposuction as well to remove fatty tissue and reposition the nipple. You will wake up with bandages to support your new chest and reduce swelling.
Cosmetic Surgery for Men: Why Have Male Breast Reduction Surgery
Gynecomastia is a condition in men and boys where the breast tissue is overdeveloped or enlarged. The conditon can occur at any age. Gynecomastia can occur in or both breasts and lead to symptoms including:
- Lump or fatty tissue beneath the breast
- Sore breasts or tender to touch
- Nipple sensitivity
If male breasts or man boobs have stopped responding to diet and exercise alone, male breast reduction surgery can create a smoother, more masculine-shaped chest. Having a more chiselled and firmer chest area can make you feel more confident, especially in situations where you’re shirtless.
Male Breast Reduction Without Surgery: Is it Possible?
There are several approaches to breast reduction without surgery. For some patients, non-invasive treatments may work such as:
- Weight loss
- Diet and exercise
- Reducing alcohol intake
- Stopping steroid use
- Hormone treatments
There are different grades of gynecomastia. Depending on your specific case, the treatment approach may differ.
If you have moderate to severe gynecomastia, you may struggle to reduce male breast size without surgery. Weight loss alone doesn’t reduce excess breast tissue. But it is important for you to be at a healthy weight for any cosmetic procedure, so it’s still useful. If you continue to experience a softer chest, despite exercise and diet, then surgery may be the only solution to remove the breast tissue.
When Can You Work Out After Male Breast Reduction Surgery
Most patients considering male breast reduction surgery have already tried using diet and exercise to change their body shape. So, it makes sense that you would want to know when you can get back to the gym and start working out again after your surgery. You may think you need to work out straight away to maintain your results, but there really is no rush. The most important thing is to follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions so that you don’t delay the healing process by exercising too early on.
When healing, the only thing you need is time and to allow your body to rest. Too much movement during the male breast reduction recovery process could rupture your sutures and cause your stitches to re-open. If you raise your heart rate too much, it could increase the risk of swelling, which could hinder the healing process.
As you begin to exercise after your surgery, the main thing to keep in mind is to start slow. In general, you should wait between 1 month and 6 weeks before resuming your exercise routine. As everyone heals at a different speed, you will need to wait until your surgeon gives you the all-clear to exercise.
3 Tips for Exercise After Gynaecomastia Surgery
Even when you resume exercise, move with caution and remember that your body is still healing. Here are 3 tips for resuming exercise after gynaecomastia surgery.
Start with Light Walking
For the first week following the procedure, stick to light walking. This promotes healing in the early stages of recovery. Many patients are back at work after 1 week if they have a non-strenuous job.
As much as you want to get back to your workout routine, light walking means light. In the first few days, you can gently walk around the house and then start taking longer walks. Avoid lifting anything heavy and be mindful of your chest area while healing. For the first couple of weeks, aim for 15-30 minute walks at a time. You should be wearing your compression vest.
1 Month: Light Non-Impact Lower Body Exercise
Typically after 1 month, you can expect to resume light exercise. This is non-impact lower body exercise, such as cardio. You shouldn’t be using your arms, chest, or shoulders at this point.
Focus on the lower body only at this point and stick to low-impact exercises. After 1 month, you should be able to resume a light exercise routine with some low impact cardio.
6 Weeks: Light Chest and Arm Exercises
In general, at 6 weeks, you should be healed enough to start light chest and arm exercises. Your muscles will not be as strong as before the surgery, so it’s important to continue lightly with your upper body exercises.
As your body won’t be as strong as before, you will be more prone to injury. Gradually build up your strength. As you feel stronger, you will be able to incorporate free weights into your routine and feel like you’re back at pre-surgery strength levels.
It’s crucial that your surgeon monitors your healing progress so that they can guide you on your post-surgery exercise routine. The above timeline is a general guideline for patients. Your surgeon will consider your individual healing when instructing you on when you can begin exercise and at what intensity. Although it’s tempting to jump back into your regular workout routine, give your body time to rest so that you can heal properly.