Downtime: The Guide to Cosmetic Surgery Recovery Time

Written by Justina Moncrief on April 28, 2015 6 Comments

plastic surgery recoery time

One of the most common questions we receive from patients interested in cosmetic surgery concerns recovery time. Specifically, patients want to know how long it will take before they can return to their regular routine.

When it comes to “downtime” or healing after a plastic surgery procedure, there are four things to keep in the back of your mind:

1. Recovery times differ from patient to patient and are dependent on many factors including the procedure itself and the patient’s general health condition. Use these estimates as a starting point and make sure to ask your plastic surgeon about the recovery time for your specific procedure.

2. If your job responsibilities include physically strenuous tasks like lifting heavy items or staying on your feet for long periods of time, you’ll need to wait longer than these average down times.

3. When it comes to planning your procedure, it’s always better to plan more conservatively. Schedule more time off than your physician estimates your recovery time to be. If the expected recovery time is one week try to reserve two solid weeks of your schedule. This way you will avoid any stress related to unexpected delays.

4. If you’re undergoing a procedure that will be fairly obvious to friends or co-workers (particularly facial cosmetic procedures like facelift surgery, blepharoplasty, or rhinoplasty) you may have additional social concerns given the bruising nature of the procedure. Note that it may take longer than the below times for bruising and swelling to completely subside.

Average recovery time of popular cosmetic surgery procedures

How to accelerate the healing process

There are several things patients can do to help speed up their recovery process. While every individual heals at a different rate, these actions have been shown to help decrease recovery periods following the cosmetic procedure:

  • Follow all post procedure instructions provided by your plastic surgeon. This includes instructions on taking care of incision sites and wearing protective garments.
  • Drink plenty of water and eat properly following your procedure. Proper hydration and nutrition will help the body heal more quickly.
  • Stress hinders the body’s ability to heal. Ensure that you have sufficient support from your friends or family and practice stress reducing techniques. Some procedures will require the use of a dedicated caregiver for the first 48 hours after the procedure.

Justina Moncrief

Justina Moncrief is a Cosmetic Consultant with Westlake Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery. She has been with the practice since 2011. Justina provides personal consultations with patients regarding breast augmentation, liposuction, facelift, and many other plastic surgery and laser procedures.

6 Responses to “Downtime: The Guide to Cosmetic Surgery Recovery Time”

  1. Avatar Lauren says:

    Great post about typical plastic surgery recovery time for different procedures. Each patient and situation is different, so following your doctor’s orders is important. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Avatar Ridley says:

    This is a great resource, thanks for sharing! My wife is looking at getting toe shortening done, but you don’t list that. How long should we plan?

  3. Avatar Dr. Beran says:

    Thanks for sharing the guide to cosmetic and surgery recovery time. This was a very informative article!

  4. I agree that you should plan more conservatively so that you can make sure you get enough rest time to heal. We tell patients it’s always better to be safe than sorry when you’re planning on surgery!

  5. Avatar Rebecca says:

    I’m interested in surgery but really don’t want any downtime. I know there are great non-surgical options, but i can’t imagine them offering better results than surgery right? Maybe I’ll read this over a few more times and get some courage lol

  6. Avatar Dr. Yarish says:

    Thank you for sharing such a great guide!

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