Post Operative Care: Gynecomastia
DRAINS: If the breast tissue has been excised, Dr. Zubowski will usually leave a drain in place for 3-days. The drain evacuates fluid that accumulates after surgery and enables you to heal faster. When the drain is first put in place, the bulb at the end of the tube will be compressed to create gentle suction. As the fluid collects in the bulb, the bulb will expand. Empty the suction bulb whenever it fills halfway, by opening the plug at the top and pouring out the contents. Do not attempt to remove the bulb from the tubing. Squeeze the bulb to recompress it, and put the plug back into the hole at the top in order to maintain the vacuum. If the bulb fills rapidly after emptying it, or you need to empty it more than 3 times a day, please call us.
DRESSINGS: If an ACE wrap or bandage has been wrapped around your chest it will usually be removed during your first postoperative visit.
SHOWERING AND BATHING: You may shower or bathe (even with the drain in place) 24 hours after surgery. If you have a bandage, call and ask the nursing staff or Dr. Zubowski for directions.
SUTURES: The sutures are usually removed in 7-10 days.
ACTIVITY: Gentle activities of daily living for the first 10 days. No aerobic exercise for at least 3 weeks. You may take gentle walks after 10 days.
SUN EXPOSURE: Your scars will be sensitive to the sun for the first year or more. Avoid sun exposure or use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15.
ACTIVITIES/SPORTS: You will need to avoid straining or any aerobic activity for at least 3 weeks after surgery. This is to avoid bleeding, bruising, and swelling. Do not resume strenuous activity for 3-4 weeks. Dr. Zubowski will give you clearance to increase your activities according to the progress of the recovery period.
DRIVING: You may resume driving when you feel you are able, but wait at least two days after surgery. Keep in mind that you must have full use of your reflexes. If pain inhibits them, don’t drive.
SEXUAL ACTIVITY: You may enjoy sexual activity as your body allows with the following restriction: Please reread Activity/Sports above and apply the same concept to sex.
SUN EXPOSURE: If fresh scars are exposed to the sun, they will tend to become darker and take longer to fade. Sunscreen can help. Take extra care and precautions if the area operated on is slightly numb – you may not “feel” a sunburn developing.
WORK: Follow whatever plan you and Dr. Zubowski have agreed upon.
AS YOU HEAL
SWELLING AND BRUISING: The operative area will be swollen and will usually have an area of black and blue. All swelling will not disappear for about 6 months.
FIRMNESS UNDER SKIN: If you feel hardness under the skin, or chronic discomfort, long-term massage is very helpful.