How do I prepare for gynecomastia surgery?
Your surgeon will provide thorough preoperative instructions, answer any questions you may have before your surgery, take a detailed medical history, and perform a physical exam to determine your fitness for surgery.
It is a good idea to get medical clearance from your internist or specialist, especially if you have heart disease, low blood count, or any other medical condition. You cannot have liposuction if you are anemic.
In advance of your procedure, your surgeon may ask you to:
- Lose weight or make a lifestyle change to ensure the best results and minimize the chance of complications.
- Stop smoking and nicotine use before undergoing surgery to promote better healing. This includes any nicotine patch or nicotine-containing product. Your surgeon will advise you of how far in advance you’ll need to quit.
- Stop taking all aspirin-containing products, medications that contain blood thinners (Ibuprofen Motrin, Advil etc.), vitamin E and herbal supplements, including St. John's Wort, green tea, Gingko and garlic supplements. You may take one multivitamin a day.
- Hydrate before and after surgery for safe recovery.
- Avoid sunbathing for two weeks before surgery. Tanning your chest skin can potentially increase the risk of permanent scarring.
- Don’t remove your chest hair for two weeks before and six weeks after surgery.
- Let the surgeon know if you develop an illness, cold or any skin infection in the chest area within a week of surgery.
- Submit all requested lab results and doctors' clearances.
- Schedule time off work, approximately one week, two weeks if your job is labor-intensive.
- Wash or purchase comfortable shirts to wear during the first four weeks after surgery. Wear comfortable and loose clothing the day of surgery. It is helpful to wear tops that open in front, loose sweatpants, and slide on shoes.
- Prepare your home before your surgery, so you don’t have to worry about taking care of things during your recuperation. Do not do any heavy lifting for several weeks after surgery. Set aside books, movies, or video games to keep you occupied while you recover. Place toiletries and easily prepared foods and snacks in areas where you will not have to lift or reach. Place plenty of fluids and all medications, including over-the-counter antacids, at your bedside.
Gynecomastia surgery is usually an outpatient procedure. You’ll need to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and stay with you at least the first night following surgery. If you don't have someone to do this, let your surgeon know in advance so your surgeon’s office can help you make arrangements for an after-care facility or hospital.
What can I expect the day of my gynecomastia surgery?
Be sure to consult with your surgeon before your surgery so you have the most accurate expectations.
- You may have your gynecomastia surgery in an accredited hospital, free-standing ambulatory facility, or office-based surgical suite.
- Most gynecomastia procedures take one to three hours but it may take longer, depending on the complexity of your surgery.
- The surgeon will administer medications for your comfort during the procedure.
- General anesthesia is common for gynecomastia surgery. In some instances, the surgeon will use local anesthesia or intravenous sedation too.
- For your safety during the surgery, various monitors will be used to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse, and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood.
- Your surgeon will follow the surgical plan discussed with you before surgery.
- After your surgery, you will go to a recovery area for continued monitoring.
- Your surgeon may use drains depending on the type of procedure you are undergoing. You should discuss this with your surgeon before surgery.
- Your surgeon will have you wear a compression garment after your surgery.
You likely can go home after a short observation period unless you and your aesthetic plastic surgeon agree on an overnight stay or have made other plans for your immediate postoperative recovery.