In the past, we’ve discussed why women get breast implants, and just last week, we talked about gynecomastia, or breast reduction surgery – specifically, why more men are getting breast reduction surgery.
In that article in particular, we talked about how gynecomastia surgery is growing in acceptance among men in Australia, and how it can often help men get rid of their “man boobs”.
Of course, as with any other type of breast surgery (or any type of surgery at all, for that matter) there are a number of things you’ll need to consider before you embark on your plastic surgery journey.
And we aren’t just talking about doing your research and checking out breast reduction before and after photos to get an idea of what your results might look like…
What should I do before surgery for gynecomastia?
As with any type of surgery, gynecomastia requires a considerable amount of preparation on the part of the individual.
Improper preparation can increase the likelihood of side-effects such as post-op swelling or scar tissue, and can influence how long bruising and pain persists following your procedure.
Preparation is the key to positive gynecomastia surgery final results.
1) Avoid alcohol
Just as with any other procedure, it’s strongly recommended that you don’t drink in the lead-up to your surgery.
This is because alcohol acts as a blood thinner, which can interfere with the blood’s ability to form clots, in turn increasing the risk of uncontrolled bleeding.
Another concern is that certain anaesthetics can interfere with anaesthetic. Both alcohol and anaesthesia are metabolised in the liver, which may not be able to handle both simultaneously.
We recommend avoiding alcohol for at least a week before gynecomastia treatment for men to lessen these risks and increase the likelihood of a smooth recovery.
2) Complete lab works
Before your surgery, you may need to complete all lab tests so that your surgeon can identify any possible problems that might complicate the surgery procedure.
Some of these lab reports would include mammogram, electrocardiogram (EKG) and other medical clearances that your plastic surgeon in Cairns might require you to undergo.
3) Inform your surgeon about any medication you’re taking
It isn’t just alcohol that can complicate your procedure – certain medications can also cause issues.
Suppose you are taking any other medications in addition to the ones prescribed by your surgeon. In that case, you should inform them and give a list of what you’re taking, including insulin, vitamins, drugs, and other supplements.
Using this information, your surgeon will be able to offer advice and compensate accordingly.
4) Take your surgeon’s prescribed medications
In the lead-up to gynecomastia surgery (or any surgery, for that matter) your surgeon may prescribe certain medications that will help control any chronic conditions both during and after surgery.
5) Shave chest and arms
For women, breast reduction incisions are often tucked away underneath the breasts, hiding them from view. This usually isn’t an option for men.
Oftentimes, incisions for male breast reduction surgery will be made in your chest and arm areas.
As such, it’s best to shave those parts as this might obstruct gynecomastia surgery.
Shaving also eliminates any bacteria that might stick into the hair and even cause contamination in the area for surgery.
6) Wear comfortable clothes
Being comfortable is one of your main goals when preparing for breast reduction surgery.
Doing so will help you become more at ease when you arrive, and help you set yourself at ease.
It’s even more important afterwards when you’re recovering – you may feel sensitive, so comfortable clothing is a must.
What should you NOT do before breast reduction surgery?
Don’t eat or drink before surgery
Once again, food and drink immediately before going under can result in complications when anaesthetic is applied.
Specifically, if your stomach has food and drink in it, there’s a risk of vomiting or bringing up food into your throat. In some cases, these can even make their way into your lungs and affect your breathing.
As a general rule, you’ll want to put a couple of hours between mealtime and the commencement of your surgery. Your surgeon can provide more details, advice, or assistance if you need.
Don’t apply any deodorant, lotion, or any spray
The night before the surgery, be sure to shower or bathe – however, we recommend avoiding any deodorant, lotion, or spray.
Such products can leave chemical residue on your skin and may even have alcohol content.
Don’t take aspirin or related products
We mentioned above that you should avoid taking medication in the lead-up to your surgery.
This piece of advice goes double for aspirin-related products and medicines.
Just like alcohol, these medications contain blood thinners that may affect fast blood clotting, increasing your chance of having skin bruises and bleeding.
As a result, your surgeon may tell you to avoid taking this medication in the 10 days leading up to your breast reduction surgery.
Smoking before surgery is a no-no as doing so will increase your chances of developing respiratory problems like difficulty breathing and pneumonia.
Surgeons may advise you to put your smoking on pause for at least two weeks before your surgery, as nicotine will also affect your healing process.
Not only that, but it’s a good idea to kick the habit in general!
What is the fastest way to recover from a breast reduction?
Recovery tip #1: Rest, rest and more rest – how many days rest after gynecomastia surgery?
Rest gives your body time to heal.
You should also avoid activity or movements, like exercise, that can aggravate your stitches and impair your recovery.
Unfortunately, we can’t provide an exact answer to this – each case is unique, after all.
Not only that, but it also depends on how your recovery goes. If you heal faster than expected, you might be able to ease off the brakes earlier.
As a general rule however, men who undergo the procedure should schedule in at least 2-3 weeks of rest, adding a couple more weeks to get back to 100%.
Recovery tip #2: Keep yourself hydrated and eat healthy
If you want to get back to normal as quickly as possible, you’ll want to pay close attention to your H2O intake!
Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is a key part of recovery, as is eating a well-balanced diet that is rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals.
In some cases, your plastic surgeon may prescribe certain foods to incorporate into your diet following your procedure, as well as a list of food and drinks to avoid.
Recovery tip #3: Clean and care for your incisions
Clean and care for your incisions by carefully following the post-op instructions your surgeon gives you. That means cleaning and changing your bandages and dressings to prevent infection.
In some cases, we may prescribe compression dressings that will provide support to your chest area following your procedure.
Recovery tip #4: Do moderate and low-level exercises
We may have said that rest is crucial – however, that doesn’t mean that you can get away with simply lying on the couch for the entirety of your recovery period.
While you may not be able to get back to your regular routine, it is a good idea to start working in moderate and low-level exercises to help you recover depending on your surgeon’s advice.
For example, a slow 5-10 minute walk – even around the backyard – can improve your blood circulation, which can help you recover faster too.
Just be sure that before you start any exercise routine, you consult your surgeon first and discuss what low-level activities are appropriate for you.
Call Cairns Plastic Surgery for breast reduction surgery!
Cairns Plastic Surgery understands that gynecomastia surgery – or any plastic surgery, for that matter – is a major decision that you need to make.
If you are unsure that you are the right candidate for breast reduction surgery, we invite you to book an information session with one of our nurses at Cairns.
We understand that the experience is everything, which is why our team does their best to ensure that you understand everything about breast reduction surgery and recovery long before you book in your procedure.
We believe that what separates the best plastic surgeon in Queensland is a focus on ensuring that you’re ready not just physically, but mentally for the procedure, including the recovery.
That’s why we put such a heavy emphasis on pre-surgery education and post-surgery recovery. Moreover, that’s why take such steps to carefully guide you through the procedure.