Post-operative care is an important component of getting the best possible outcomes from your gynecomastia surgery, and the aim is to manage several aspects of it. It includes proper use of your compression garment, taking measures to avoid infection, accelerating the subsidence of swelling and bruising, and, when needed, taking steps to improve skin elasticity.
The patient will receive two compression garments so that one can be washed while the other is worn. The garment is an essential tool to ensure that skin and soft tissues redrape aesthetically over the regions where fat and gland tissue has been removed. Without it, gravity can cause the skin to sag or fold. The garment must be worn 24 hours per day during the first two weeks, and subsequently 12 hours per day for the ensuing four weeks. A cotton t-shirt can be worn under the garment to avoid irritation.
Wounds from the procedure heal over a period of 7 to 10 days. Use of dressings during this time promote the healing process, and help minimise infection. The dressings should be kept dry, and changed daily. Antibiotic ointment is applied to the wound before applying the new dressing. Usually the stitches used are self-absorbing, and disappear on their own after a few weeks. If non-absorbing stitches are used, they will be removed by the nursing staff after roughly one week.
In the first week, to avoid wetting the dressings while the wounds are healing, the adjacent areas are kept clean with sponge and soapy water. Hair should be washed in a sink to prevent the surgical area from becoming wet. The lower body can be washed in a shower as long as the wound regions are not wetted.
From day one, it is possible to walk around the house and short distances as long as the patient feels up to it. Jogging can be done at the start of the second week. Weight lifting can be done from the start of the third week, but with care to build up resistance slowly, and while wearing the compression garment under gym attire.
For non-strenuous jobs, patients can return to work from three to seven days after surgery. For work involving significant manual stress, work should only be undertaken from the start of third week. For both cases, the compression garment must be worn under the clothes until the sixth week has terminated.
There are two compulsory post-operative reviews. The first is scheduled from three to seven days after surgery. This is primarily to check that swelling and bruising is subsiding, that skin and soft tissues are settling properly in place, and to ensure that there is no infection. The second review is scheduled for fourteen days after surgery. This is used to confirm that good recovery has been had, and that physical exercise can be begun. Although not mandatory, it is advisable that the patient return for a final review two months after surgery for an assessment of the final result and scar check up.
Information is provided to the patient on how to manage wound scarring during the first two months. However, mature scar formation can take as much as six to twelve months. If the scars becomes raised, lumpy, or broader anti-scar injections or some other scar revision treatments should be scheduled by contacting the clinic.
An aesthetic result depends on good skin retraction. Use of the compression garment is the most important way to achieve this, however, for some cases, it may be necessary to use additional treatments. These might include the use of prescription creams, or energy therapies such as laser, ultrasound, radio-frequency, or plasma machines.
Discuss your goals and find out about outcomes for your personal case of gynecomastia.