Dismiss Modal

Gynecomastia Surgery: What to Expect


Prior to Surgery

  • Talk to your doctor about your child’s medications/vitamins/herbs. Some may need to be discontinued a week prior to surgery.
  • Discuss any possible bleeding disorders or other medical conditions that could impact surgery or anesthesia.
  • Do not give your child anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before the surgery.
  • Blood samples are taken in case your child needs a blood transfusion.

Day of the Surgery

  • Do not allow your child to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the surgery.
  • Only give your child medications that the surgeon has recommended with a small sip of water.
  • You will receive a call from the hospital about arrival time.

After Surgery

Your child will remain in the hospital overnight to a couple of days following the procedure.

  • A dressing will cover your child's surgical site for two days, and it must be kept dry. Only allow your child a sponge bath during the first 48 hours.
  • Most patients will be able to eat normally after the anesthesia has worn off. There are no dietary restrictions to follow.
  • Your child will have to limit motion in the arm on the side of the surgery for a few weeks to discourage seroma formation.
  • In some cases, your child may have a drain at the incision site. If so, you will be taught how to empty it and record the amount of fluid.
  • There will be soreness around the surgical site during the first 24 to 48 hours following surgery.
  • Your child may be prescribed antibiotics to take while he recovers.
  • Walking is encouraged, based on your child’s energy level.
  • Your child will feel better after the first week, but will need to take precautions in doing certain activities and limit them to what is recommended by the pediatric surgeon.

Recovery: What to Expect in the Next Few Weeks

Most children will fully recover in one month and can resume some normal activities. Your child’s pediatric surgeon can advise on what sports are allowed.

Question & Answer

Below, find answers to commonly asked questions. Click each item to expand the Q&A for each section.

The Procedure

Q: What does the procedure involve?

With the child being completely asleep under general anesthesia, the pediatric surgeon makes a small incision at the areola (dark portion of the nipple region). The fibrous or glandular breast tissue is removed, along with tissue that runs from the chest toward the armpit. In some cases, the surgeon may leave a small drainage tube in place while the skin grows back at the incision site. The chest may also be wrapped to help prevent fluid build-up from post-operative bleeding. A small portion of breast tissue will remain under the nipple so that it does not invert.


Q: How many incisions are made?

One or two incisions are made in the chest.

Hospital Stay

Q: How long will my child stay in the hospital?

Children normally stay overnight to a couple of days in the hospital.

Recovery Time

Q: What is the recovery time?

Most children feel better within the first week, but it takes a few weeks to fully recover. Until then, activities, especially on the surgery side of the chest, must be restricted as advised by your pediatric surgeon.