Men with breasts. This sounds like the title of a bad Sci-Fi movie, doesn’t it? In truth, gynecomastia is a very real, very troubling problem. Comedians and many people in our society joke about this condition that we call gynecomastia, referring to enlarged male breasts as man boobs. For the man with this condition, such as description is demeaning and embarrassing. Until recently, very few men realized that there was a name for what they were experiencing. Even fewer have realized that their problem could be corrected. It can. Here’s what patients need to know about returning to their normal workouts after gynecomastia treatment.
Because we’ve only recently begun talking about gynecomastia, there are still misconceptions about what causes this condition and how to correct it. Many men spend months or years trying to contour their chest with exercise. While fatty tissue does play a small role in some cases of gynecomastia, it is not the only issue to contend with. Male breast enlargement is a result of excessive breast tissue. Where fatty tissue is soft and related to weight, breast tissue is glandular. It is dense. It does not change much with weight. This is why men who are otherwise fit may still have puffiness in their chest area.
Even knowing that exercise cannot eliminate gynecomastia, many of our patients feel a sense of urgency to resume their normal workouts after treatment. We understand, and also advise patients not to rush back to the gym. Doing so can create more problems and hold up the progress of healing.
After gynecomastia surgery, rest is the primary action that a man needs to take. This can be difficult when so much effort has previously gone into correcting shape. For the first two weeks of recovery, though, the extent of physical activity is light walking. Patients can walk for up to 30 minutes and can do this a few times a day. It is imperative to maintain a casual pace. Even brisk walking that increases heart rate can disrupt tissue healing and create a risk of complications.
While it may be possible to return to work two weeks after treatment for gynecomastia, physical activity remains limited until about 4 weeks post-op. At that time, the patient may begin walking briskly, hiking, and doing light cardio exercise that primarily uses the lower body. Chest and arm exercises may need to wait until 6 weeks post-op and, when they do resume, should be done slowly and carefully.
Living with gynecomastia is difficult. Treatment can successfully correct this problem and, even with a short recovery period, the outcome of surgery is well worth the wait to get back to a normal exercise routine. Learn more about male breast reduction. Call our Hazleton or Pottsville office to schedule a consultation.