Gynecomastia Surgery Instructions
1. Do not take any aspirin (including any medication containing aspirin) for seven days prior to surgery and two days after surgery because aspirin always interferes with normal blood clotting. Do not take any prescription or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications for three days before surgery and for two days after surgery for the same reason. These drugs are used primarily to treat inflammation, mild to moderate pain and fever. Examples of these over-the-counter medications are Motrin, Advil, Aleve, etc. Stop any Vitamin E and herbal supplements for three weeks before and one week after surgery. Please check any multi-vitamin you may be taking.
2. Smokers should stop smoking as far in advance of the surgery date as possible to minimize complications from the anesthesia and to help minimize scarring. Be sure to inform Dr. Oldham if you smoke.
3. Immediately report any signs of a cold, infection, boils or pustules appearing within two weeks of surgery.
4. Do not eat or drink anything (including water) after midnight the night before your surgery. Refrain from chewing gum.
5. Arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery. Someone will also need to stay with you the first night.
6. Two days before and the morning of your surgery, cleanse your body with an anti-bacterial soap called Hibiclens (Chlorhexidine). This product is available at most drug stores. If Dr. Oldham has done pre-operative marking, do not use the soap on the marks and pat your skin dry over the marks instead of rubbing. Do not apply the anti-bacterial soap near your face, eyes or ears. Do not use lotion, moisturizer, make-up or other products on your skin.
AFTER YOUR SURGERY
1. If your pain is mild take extra-strength Tylenol. For more significant pain, take the prescription pain medication given to you by Dr. Oldham, but be sure to take it after eating to minimize nausea which is always a risk after taking any stronger pain medication. Regardless of whether you are taking extra-strength Tylenol, the prescription medication prescribed by Dr. Oldham or alternating between the two, it is important to wait four (4) hours between doses in order to avoid potentially harmful over-dose of Tylenol (Acetaminophen).
2. Since most strong pain medication causes some degree of constipation, it is advisable to start taking Colace 100mg. (an over-the-counter stool softener) on the evening of your surgery and then take one, twice a day each day after, until you are no longer taking pain medication and you are having normal bowel movements.
3. If you normally have a bowel movement every day or two and you have not had a bowel movement approximately the third day after your surgery, you should take two tablespoons of milk of magnesia at bedtime. If you do not have a bowel movement the following morning, take four tablespoons of milk of magnesia that morning.
4. Do not use warm or hot compresses on the chest area.
5. Do not raise your arms over your head for two to three days after surgery.
6. Avoid strenuous activity for two to three weeks. You may, however, do light exercise after one week, such as stationery bike, avoiding upper body and arm exercises.
7. As long as there is any pinkness in the incisions, avoid any exposure to the sun to prevent permanent or prolonged discoloration and redness. This will take several months, or perhaps as long as a year. You may use sunscreen if you are careful to reapply it frequently.
8. You can expect some degree of swelling for several months after the surgery and numbness of the breasts will also take several months to subside.
9. Make an appointment to return to the office approximately one week after your surgery.
10. Many people experience brief episodes of depression or anxiety following surgery, similar to the well-known post-partum depression. This is quite normal as your body adjusts to the physiological changes taking place.