If you are preparing to undergo gynecomastia surgery, you may be worried about residual scars. In this article, we will give you a thorough outlook on the extent of the scarring from the surgery and some useful tips on how you can reduce their appearance.
Will I Have Scars After Gynecomastia Surgery?
No surgery is without scarring, but some surgeries produce more visible scars than others. In most cases with a professional surgeon, scars after gynecomastia surgery are minimal and easily hidden. The surgery usually requires incisions to be made around the nipples, the size of which will depend on the extent of chest tissue that is removed, as well as whether or not liposuction is also required. However, most patients find that the appearance of scars dissipates significantly after a few weeks.
Minimal Scarring in Low-Visibility Areas
The benefit of gynecomastia surgery is that it is in an area that is usually covered by clothing. In typical cases, the scars are small and insignificant, especially when done with surgical precision. During your healing process, you will have to wear a compression garment around the chest, which means for 6 weeks, the area will not be exposed throughout the time that scarring will be most visible.
Factors that Impact Scarring
There are several factors that determine the extent of your scarring after gynecomastia surgery, such as the technique used by the surgeon, your genetic make-up, and how seriously aftercare is taken.
Gynecomastia surgery is a procedure that needs to be done with intricacy and precision to ensure the most attractive and natural results. The scars left behind after the surgery are determined by where the incisions are made on the chest and their size.
Usually, the incisions are made around the nipple with a very thin excision device, meaning that they will not be very noticeable once healed. A bigger opening means a larger area for scarring, but in the case of gynecomastia surgery, large incisions are usually not necessary. If your individual case means you also require liposuction, a very small cannula will be inserted in various areas around the chest, but scars leftover from this are usually insignificant.
Some people are prone to more significant scarring than others. Scars, which are made of fibrous tissue, are the body’s response to injury in order to promote healing and reduce infection around targeted areas.
People with fibroproliferative diseases are likely to suffer more prominent scars, although the surgery is not recommended for people with such underlying medical conditions. Furthermore, people of certain ethnicities may produce higher levels of fibroblast cells that constitute more connective tissue such as collagen and therefore are prone to more significant scarring.
Many people believe that the results of your gynecomastia surgery depend solely on the surgeon’s precision and efficiency during the procedure. However, this is inaccurate. In many cases, the visibility of scarring can be exacerbated by inadequate aftercare following surgery. The area of incision needs to be taken care of properly, which includes proper cleaning, massaging and avoiding the sun to ensure the best results.
Gynecomastia Recovery Timeline
The timeline for recovering from gynecomastia surgery varies depending on your specific case and the way your body naturally heals from an injury. During your recovery, your scars will undergo what is called a maturation process, where the appearance of the scar improves with time. This process may vary depending on your body’s typical reaction to wounds. However, below is the typical recovery journey after undergoing male breast reduction.
The most significant side-effects of surgery will occur during the first few days, which is completely normal and expected. It is imperative to rest completely for a week to encourage healing. As the stitches dissolve, the scars will look most visible and red, but bruising will dissipate. During this time, it is important to keep the incisions clean, as this will ensure smooth scars that will fade without issues.
After a week of rest following your gynecomastia surgery, you will notice that swelling and bruising will have faded significantly, improving the appearance of your newly contoured chest. The clinic offers your first follow-up at this stage to check your progress and answer any questions. You will now be able to resume your daily activities without much pain and begin to settle into your skin.
By week two, most men will be back to their usual selves, being able to engage in light exercise in moderation. At the end of the second week, you should be able to sleep on your side if approved by your surgeon. You may continue to feel strange sensations such as tingling in your scars, but this is the healing of small fibres in the incision site. This feeling will gradually disappear.
By weeks 3 and 4, swelling and bruising will almost be gone. During this time, the sutures should have dissolved; scars will form during this time as the body’s supply of blood and collagen increases in order to help the skin heal itself. These will appear in the form of thick and dark scar tissue.
Week 6 typically marks the end of your recovery process from gynecomastia surgery. This means you can engage in any form of exercise, sleep in any position, and signs of swelling and bruising will have largely disappeared. From now, you will no longer have to wear your compression garment and, therefore, can enjoy your new chest to its full potential.
The garment will have set the skin in place, allowed the pectoral area to heal well, and would have reduced the chances of scars lasting. It can take a few months for scars to fade to a natural colour, but by now, they will be lighter, flatter, and softer until they are significantly unnoticeable.
Tips to Reduce Gynecomastia Surgery Scarring
Choose The Right Gynecomastia Surgeon
The most experienced and well-trained surgeons will be able to complete your surgery with artistic precision. It is often tempting to get surgery at less-established and non-reputable clinics in order to save on the cost of the surgery, but this can often mean compromising on the surgeon’s capability.
More so, although many cosmetic surgeons perform a range of surgeries, it is recommended to choose a surgeon with considerable experience in male breast reduction surgery specifically. This way, they will be able to give you the best guidance and advice, as well as be able to perform the surgery to the highest standard.
Prioritise Proper Hygiene
Cosmetic surgeons are wound-care experts, and therefore their advice should be taken as gospel. Proper hygiene after surgery is extremely important so that your wounds can properly heal. One benefit of gynecomastia surgery is that you are able to wash immediately after undergoing it.
You should wash the wound with antimicrobial soap and clean water to avoid infection. Furthermore, heavily fragranced soaps should be avoided so as to not irritate the wound, which may stunt the development and fading of scars. You should aim to wash the wounds every day and keep them clear of dirt and sweat.
It is important to keep scars out of the sun as broken skin is more susceptible to burning than undamaged skin. Burning will make the scar significantly darker, so it is vital to apply sun protection to your scars if you are exposing them. You should try not to be in constant sunlight for more than 2-3 hours if your gynecomastia surgery scars have still not faded significantly.
Stay Consistent with Prescription Medications
Prescription medication promotes stable and healthy recovery from surgery, so it is important to stay on top of it. Your gynecomastia surgeon may prescribe pain relief and other medications in order to lessen the discomfort you feel after the procedure and allow your body to function better as you heal. Your body needs to be at its optimum to heal quickly and prevent stubborn scars.
Use Silicone Sheets and Scar Gels
Silicone works well with scars in order to minimise their appearance after surgery by hydrating the scar tissue and also preventing the production of excess collagen, which darkens scars. Silicone is available in a range of different forms, so you can trial them and choose what works best for you.
The two main options are silicone sheets and gels, which work by creating a waterproof barrier on top of the scar that lasts for 6-8 hours. Importantly, they should only be applied once the incision has fully closed.
To complete gynecomastia surgery, excess breast tissue is removed surgically. This requires the surgeon to manually remove the overdeveloped tissue from under the skin. Though this procedure is invasive, it is the most effective method of treating enlarged breast tissue that doesn’t go away with exercise and diet.
Skin Tightening Treatment
The skin around the breast is tightened during the stitching of the wounds to ensure there is no excess and saggy skin which creates an undesirable look. Some patients might suffer from excess skin on the chest that contributes to the appearance of gynecomastia. In such cases, the surgery can also be paired with skin tightening treatments such as BodyTite, which can create a more contoured chest
BodyTite eliminates fat and tightens the skin by delivering radioactive frequency to fat cells in order to extract them. This is done with tiny incisions that will leave little to no scars. This will extend and tighten the skin around your body and its contours, and can be used to enhance your newly-defined chest.
Liposuction is also often done in conjunction with gynecomastia to further define the chest. Even with gynecomastia, enlarged breasts can be worse in appearance due to excess chest fat in the area. The procedure requires only small, minimal incisions and the extraction of fat with a cannula. Ordinarily, the residual marks from liposuction are insignificant, so you won’t have to worry about the scars from more than one treatment.
Am I A Good Candidate For Gynecomastia?
The best candidate for gynecomastia surgery is someone with no underlying health conditions and a BMI under 30. However, to confirm your eligibility, you will still need to attend a consultation with the surgeon to confirm that you can undergo the procedure. Dr Omar Tillo recommends patients wait until the age of 20 to seek the surgery as overdeveloped breasts may be an issue that will resolve after puberty.
Schedule A Gynecomastia Consultation With Creo Clinic Today
Dr. Omar Tillo is a highly-qualified surgeon with extensive experience in completing gynecomastia surgery with the ultimate precision, enabling him to create incisions that leave minimal scars. If you are looking for a clinic that can ensure great results, book a consultation with Creo Clinic by requesting a callback.