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Gynecomastia is the abnormal development of tissues and glands in the male breast. It often occurs in adolescence and clears up on its own with time. However, in some cases, gynecomastia can occur later in life for a variety of reasons ranging from hormone imbalances to use of certain medications.

In rare cases, gynecomastia can be evidence of a serious medical condition, but it is usually not considered harmful to human health. Even after a doctor rules out potentially concerning health issues, many men still find gynecomastia embarrassing. Breast reduction surgery can correct the issue, improving self-esteem and self-image.

Male breast reduction surgery is a low-risk procedure that typically does not entail a lot of downtime. Proper preparation helps ensure your procedure and recovery go smoothly.

Below, we will go over five tips to prepare for men breast reduction surgery.

Find A Qualified Surgeon

The best means to ensure a smooth surgery is by working with the correct provider. Find a board-certified plastic surgeon with experience treating gynecomastia or similar conditions. Though it may seem like a straight forward procedure, an experienced surgeon is much more likely to give you the ideal cosmetic result.

Becoming board-certified takes a lot of training and experience, so you can trust a board-certified surgeon will take good care of you from start to finish. A good surgeon will also understand the underlying causes of gynecomastia and make sure to rule out any serious conditions before proceeding with breast reduction surgery.

Get A Lab Test And Medical Evaluation

A lab test and medical evaluation will usually be required as part of the preparation process. This helps ensure you are healthy enough to safely undergo surgery. It can also help spot underlying conditions causing your gynecomastia, which may require separate medical treatment. 

Come prepared with a list of any medication you take – including any over-the-counter drugs you take regularly. You may need to adjust or cease using certain medications prior to surgery. Anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements, for example, can increase bleeding.

It is important to be honest with your practitioner during this part of the process. Factors like smoking could put you at a heightened risk for complications.

Adopt A Healthy Lifestyle

The healthier your body, the better your chances at a successful surgery. You also may need to make some lifestyle changes before getting medical clearance for breast reduction surgery.

Smokers are usually asked to quit and – if you are overweight – you may be required to lose weight prior to surgery. Ask your surgeon for guidance on healthy, sustainable weight loss. (In some cases, weight loss alone can help treat gynecomastia, making surgery unnecessary.)

Regardless of whether you need to lose weight, a healthy diet and exercise regimen is a great way to prepare for surgery. Even small changes – like eating more fruits and vegetables and engaging in 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times a week – can help strengthen your body, reducing your risk of complications and potentially speeding up your recovery. 

Make Arrangements At Work

Recovery from breast reduction surgery is typically mild, but you will still need some time off from work. Most patients need between one to two weeks of downtime to rest and recover, so make sure to make proper arrangements.

If you are eligible for medical leave, request at least a week off following surgery. For the first 24 to 48 hours, you may have surgical drains in place and will likely need a lot of rest to recover from anesthesia.

You can also ask if work-from-home options are available for the weeks following your surgery. While most people feel mentally able to resume work after a week, you may have physical limitations for two weeks or more depending on how your body reacts to surgery. This could make it difficult to come into the office regularly.

Enlist Someone To Help You Post-Surgery

Legally, you need someone else to drive you home after undergoing breast reduction surgery, but most people need help in general for a week or more following their operation.

 As previously mentioned, you may have surgical drains in place for up to two days or more. This can limit your mobility and make basic household tasks difficult. It helps to have a friend or family member around to help with chores like running to the grocery store or picking up your prescriptions. 

Male Breast Reduction Surgery: The Bottom Line

Breast reduction surgery can successfully correct gynecomastia and leave you feeling better about your body overall. The best way to prepare is to find a qualified surgeon, get in good shape, and make the necessary arrangements at work and at home prior to your operation.

Ready to get started? Leif Rogers is an Ivy League-educated, board-certified plastic surgeon and a standing member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. If you’re considering male breast reduction surgery, get in touch with his team to schedule a consultation.

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