After undergoing male breast reduction surgery, the recovery period can seem pretty daunting. However, it really doesn’t have to be.
Here, you’ll discover 10 steps you can follow to ensure optimal recovery and start enjoying your firmer, flatter chest.
Step 1 – Arrange to have a friend/partner or family member look after you for a few days
Immediately after the surgery, the anaesthesia won’t have worn off. This means your ability to drive will be extremely compromised. You’re also likely to experience some pain and discomfort for the first few days, so it is recommended you seek help from a friend, partner or family member for the initial 2-3 days following the procedure.
Step 2 – Control nausea
Nausea is a very common side effect of male breast reduction surgery. However, it can be controlled both with anti-nausea medication and by reducing the size and increasing the frequency of your meals. It is also recommended you cut up food into smaller pieces so it is easier for the stomach to digest.
Step 3 – Ensure you get plenty of rest
It can’t be stressed enough how important rest is during your recovery. All patients are advised to avoid lifting or stretching excessively for 7-10 days. However, on the day of the procedure, it is equally important to ensure you get up and move around every hour for approximately 15 minutes.
Step 4 – Remember to adjust the bandages regularly
You will need to keep the bandages and garment on for at least 24 hours after the surgery. However, it should be adjusted slightly every couple of hours or whenever it is needed. The compression should be gentle and you should be able to fit a finger in between the garment and your skin. If you can’t it means the compression is too tight and this will restrict blood flow.
Step 5 – Avoid carbonated and caffeinated drinks for 72 hours
All alcohol, carbonated and caffeinated drinks should be avoided for 72 hours after the surgery. Instead, make sure you drink plenty of water or fresh juice to keep hydrated.
Step 6 – Wear loose, comfortable clothing
Ideally you’ll want to wear front-opening clothing that’s loose and comfortable. Anything which needs to be pulled over the head should be avoided.
Step 7 – Do not shower for 24 hours
Do not attempt to have a shower for at least 24 hours as the garment and bandage need to be kept totally dry. In fact, it is recommended it stay dry for at least 7 days.
Step 8 – After 2-3 days, adjust the post-operative garment
It takes 2-3 days for the incisions to stop oozing. At this point, you can adjust the post-operative garment so that it is placed under the bandage. This will provide additional compression.
Step 9 – Take pain medication as and when needed
Although not all patients experience pain after the surgery, some men may experience a high level of pain. This will usually last around a week and regular painkillers should work to control it. However, if you’re in severe pain, contact the surgeon.
Step 10 – Don’t return to work too early
If you have a sedentary job you should be able to return to work within 3 days. However, if your job is more physical, you should take 1-2 weeks off. This gives you plenty of time to recover.