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Blog. After Gynecomastia Surgery: A Roller Coaster?

If you elect to have surgery for gynecomastia with us or another experienced plastic surgeon, you’ll feel a huge sense of relief after the procedure, right? A burden you’ve been dealing with will be lifted, and you’ll feel great about the road ahead, don’t you think?

Satisfaction and even elation are definitely quite possible, but there are other possibilities as well. In fact, some guys struggle with their emotions for a while after male breast reduction.

You might wonder why. After worrying and suffering for years, in many cases, why would a guy not feel joyful when the man boobs are gone? Well, that’s just it. Many patients obsess about their physique to the extent that they just can’t give up examining every inch of their chest several times a day. This is not a recipe for satisfaction, particularly right after surgery when the body goes through many changes as it heals.

Obsession with an issue that holds someone back in life can easily become a habit that’s challenging to break, even when the issue has been dealt with and everything is going as planned. We sometimes urge patients to look at the big picture as they heal and try to refrain from micro-scrutinizing every inch of their chest. We even include this advice in our instructions, “The mirror can be your friend or your enemy.”

Some guys feel a bit dismayed by post-op bruising and swelling. Even though we are completely up front with our New York gynecomastia patients about the immediate recovery period, some still register surprise when their bandages are removed for the first time. Said our man boobs patient Michael, “The wrinkles, pale skin, bruising, swelling and iodine marks—it was a bit freakish!” Another of our patients commented that he had the notion, “Oh, I made a huge mistake I never should have done this!”

Guys who have these thoughts in the first few days after surgery find their concerns dissipate fairly quickly. Initial healing following male breast reduction is fairly rapid. Incisions close up well and begin to settle down, and bruising subsides over several days. Swelling takes a little longer, but many patients say they can tell they will look much better than prior to surgery quite soon.

One other emotional component of the post-op period for some guys is the challenge of wrapping the brain around the change. It can take time to feel confident wearing tight fitting clothing, taking shirts off and hitting the gym even when the man boobs are gone. Some who have become introverted find it’s even more daunting to figure out how to have a more active social life and pursue intimate relationships after surgery.

Let’s face it, expecting to adjust emotionally after gynecomastia surgery with no trouble at all is not realistic. In fact, the more a guy’s moobs impacted his life prior to male breast reduction, the more work he may have to do afterward to change his thinking and stretch himself beyond his old comfort level. The work is worth doing—after all, no one invests in man boob surgery just to resume his old ways! Counseling can be a big help for some guys.

So, if you come in to consult with us about gynecomastia surgery, this will be a topic we’ll explore as we get to know each other. Can you expect good physical results if you put yourself in our hands? Yes, assuming we agree to move forward with the procedure, you can anticipate looking much better after surgery than before. Will you get a new lease on life after healing and finding new ways to think about your future? Yes, the huge majority of our patients are thrilled with their new physique and new outlook.

Just don’t expect it to be automatic.


Dr. Elliot William Jacobs is a board-certified aesthetic plastic surgeon who specializes in FTM top surgery, gynecomastia surgery, revision gynecomastia surgery and male breast reduction. He is a native of New York and has over 40 years of experience in his field. Dr. Jacobs is a highly respected and sought-after surgeon who is known for his skill, experience, and compassion. Whether you are interested in gynecomastia for the first time, or are looking to correct a gynecomastia you aren’t happy with, Dr. Jacobs can deliver amazing results.


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