Many men who consult with a surgeon about gynecomastia surgery have already tried to reduce breast size with diet and exercise at the very least. It makes sense, then, that most men who schedule gynecomastia surgery want to know what they can expect after their procedure. Of particular interest is the issue of resuming a regular workout routine. We understand the intensity of this desire. Having enlarged breasts takes a toll on a man’s emotional wellness. Even with a surgical solution, there may be a belief that working out is a must to achieve the best results. There is some truth to this, but it is nothing to rush.
Recovery Takes Precedence
Our primary concern for men who have undergone gynecomastia surgery is that they can heal well. Healing is a waiting game during which the best thing the patient can do is rest. This can be a difficult task, especially when so much work has previously gone into maintaining fitness. However, one of the first post-operative instructions patients must adhere to is avoiding strenuous exercise. Too much movement too soon can cause stitches to re-open. Increasing the heart rate too much too soon could increase the risk of swelling and bruising and diminish the quality of healing.
When Exercise Resumes
When resuming exercise after gynecomastia surgery, it is imperative to take things slowly. Many men feel tight in the chest area after their procedure. This may be due to the stitching of incisions. The best way to get back into a workout routine is to walk. Patients may walk casually (not briskly) as soon as they feel comfortable after surgery. A slow to moderate pace may be kept up for 15 to 30 minutes a day at first and can continue daily for the first two weeks of recovery. If pain occurs when walking, the activity should stop for the day. Also, when walking, the compression garment applied after surgery should be worn.
After walking, patients may resume exercise with stretching and calisthenics such as leg lifts and arm lifts. Stretching may include slow, gentle movements of the arms overhead and bending forward at the waist, as well as from side to side. Leg lifts are performed lying on the side with one arm stretched straight up and the other supporting the body. Lift one leg 3 to 6 inches off the ground and hold for thirty seconds. Repeat on each side. Arm lifts are performed in a seated position using 3- to 5 lb weights and lifting the hands to be perpendicular to the body.
After stretching and calisthenics have been continued for two weeks, patients may add in light cardiovascular exercise. Low impact cardio is gentle but can still provide a good workout. Examples of suitable exercise include brisk walking, riding a bicycle, or working on an elliptical trainer. A follow-up visit takes place about one month after surgery. At that time, additional exercises can be discussed based on the progress of recovery.
Learn more about gynecomastia surgery and what male breast reduction could do for you. Call (512) 450-1077 to schedule a consultation at our Austin office.