Many patients ask what typical recovery times are after our most popular plastic surgery procedures. This depends on many things of which the type of surgery is only one. First, what is meant by “recovery time”? Is this when you will look presentable, when you will be able to resume normal day to day activity, or when you can resume all activities, with no restrictions? Is it when you can return to work? This can be very different for a secretary who works at a desk versus, say, someone who does heavy manual labor. Each of this may have a different time frame, from days to weeks. Is it when you will feel back to totally normal in every way? This could be months. Scars can take six months to over a year to fully mature. It is important always to remember that each individual will recover in their own, unique way and so we have to allow some leeway for this in our estimations.
Facial surgery is more difficult to hide than surgery in areas covered by clothes, and this must be taken into account as well.
Most patients can return to full, unrestricted activity after any surgery within 4-6 weeks. Most can look presentable, even after facial surgery (makeup can hide a myriad of things like bruising and redness) within 7-10 days. With the above factors in mind, the following is a list of average recovery times -- when you will look OK and be able to function in normal day to day activities after our most common and popular procedures:
- 0 days: Botox, most filler injections (unless bruising which may take a week or more to fade enough for makeup to fully cover it)
- One week: breast augmentation, breast lift, liposuction
- 7-10 days: breast reduction, facelift, brow lift, eyelid surgery, facial peel with Erbium ablative laser, chemical peel with TCA.
- Two weeks: tummy tuck, arm tuck, full face peel using carbon dioxide laser
- 2-3 weeks: combined breast and tummy (“mommy makeover”), thigh lift, body lift
Helping you manage your recovery is one of highest priorities. We feel that your surgical experience is a partnership between you and us and there are things that you can do before your plastic surgery to ensure the best outcome possible. We will provide you with clear, written instructions on the steps you should take to enhance your chances of having a smooth recovery and the best possible results. These include making sure you arrange your schedule to allow sufficient down time for healing, avoiding medications that could cause problems such as bleeding, e.g. ibuprofen, aspirin, or other anti-inflammatory over-the-counter meds, and eliminating bad habits, such as smoking. Some procedures, such as tummy tucks, facelifts, and breast lifts cannot be done in those who are actively smoking.
Staying calm and positive will dramatically benefit your recovery. Your recovery period is a fragile time in your life, and it will be important to surround yourself with positive people. Follow your surgeon’s instructions to the letter. This will ensure that you have the best chance of getting the result you are seeking.