How Long Are Plastic Surgery Recovery Times?

How Long Are Plastic Surgery Recovery Times?

Recovery times for plastic surgery have certainly decreased over the last 20 years, but it’s important to remember that they are surgical procedures. Recovery is therefore a crucial step to ensure optimal results. Depending on the type of surgery you undergo, recovery time could be anything from a few hours to a few weeks, and can also depend on factors like your age and health. But the key to speeding up recovery and optimising results is to plan plenty of rest and quiet time. And always follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding diet, exercise and any precautions. Here’s an overview of standard recovery times for some of my most popular cosmetic procedures:

Breast Surgery

I would advise anyone undergoing breast surgery to take two weeks off work, though you can normally resume light activities within 48 hours. Generally speaking, complete recovery can take up to six weeks, though the tenderness you’ll feel in the first few days quickly dies down. Any bruising will usually have settled after the first week.


You should only need to take a few days off work to recover after liposuction, though it does depend on the scale of the surgery. The more rest you have after the operation, the quicker your recovery time. Reducing activity and drinking plenty of fluids will ensure you’re back on your feet faster.

Tummy Tuck

Most patients will need to stay in hospital between three to five nights following a tummy tuck procedure, and will have to be extremely careful walking for the first ten days. You’ll need to wear compression garments for a month, so don’t plan to be back at work for at least three weeks.


After rhinoplasty it’s common to experience swelling and bruising around the eyes. This can take up to two weeks to fade, although some very subtle swelling may remain for up to several months. Plan to spend the first three days following surgery at home. Resting and limiting movement will help counter any discomfort and ensure the healing process gets off to a good start. To ensure a complete recovery, don’t aim to return to week for two weeks post-surgery.

Otoplasty (Ear Surgery)

You should plan to take about two weeks off to recover from otoplasty as your ears will be swollen and discoloured. Full recovery usually takes around six weeks and a support headband must be worn at night for four weeks after surgery to prevent damage.

Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)

It normally takes around a week to 10 days for any swelling to subside following surgery to the eyelids. As the swelling can affect vision, it’s a good idea to take at least a week off work, if not two.


As with all surgery, there are a number of things you can do to speed up your recovery time, like plenty of bed rest, limiting physical activity, eating well, drinking plenty of fluids and getting lots of sleep. Clear your schedule of work and social commitments for the advised length of time and follow your surgeon’s instructions to ensure you recover speedily and with no complications.

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