gynecomastia causes
© Hoda Bogdan -

© Hoda Bogdan –

Some people are surprised to find that any athlete could suffer from gynecomastia (enlarged male breasts), but this stems from a misguided belief that “man boobs” are caused by excess fat alone.

In fact, true gynecomastia is hormonal in nature, and is caused by increased estrogen in the male body.

The condition is actually very common among bodybuilders and athletes, due to the frequent use of anabolic steroids to enhance performance. These drugs are banned for competition, of course, but some athletes still use them.

Unfortunately, gynecomastia is just one of a host of issues that can occur with the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Gynecomastia surgery is the only effective treatment for the issue, but it does pose a problem for active men seeking treatment. Directly following the procedure, as with any surgery, activity must be strictly limited during the recovery period.

So what are the facts about working out after gynecomastia surgery?

Recovery Restrictions

While many men can go back to work (desk job) within a few days, patients should not try to resume workouts for at least four to six weeks following surgery. While this can prove a very frustrating restriction for active patients, it is crucial to the success of the procedure and the safety of the patient.

An increase in blood pressure following surgery can be dangerous, and exercise can elevate blood pressure levels. When patients do return to working out, they should ease back into routine, in order to prevent injury.

The Risks of Working Out

There are significant risks to patients who decide to head back to the gym before their surgeon gives the green light. These include:

  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Fluid Collection
  • Injury to incisions
  • Widening of scars

Livestrong offers some light alternatives here for post-gynecomastia workouts. Patients should always defer to their doctors’ instructions, however.

Choosing an Experienced Cosmetic Surgeon

Remember, those four to six weeks of recovery are integral to good results and getting rid of gynecomastia for good. Most men find that the recovery period is worth the inconvenience, so don’t dismiss the idea of treatment because of the recovery period.

If you are currently competing in sporting events, however, it might be best to wait until you can set aside some time to accommodate the recovery period.

When you’re ready to move forward, it’s important to choose a specialist, such as our gynecomastia experts in New York, NY and Long Island. Our expert cosmetic and plastic surgeons have performed successful male breast reductions for years and are ready to help you too.

Call either location today to schedule your free consultation at (212) 206-0023 or (631) 499-1831.