Plastic Surgery – What to Expect From the Recovery Period

Cosmetic surgery is gaining popularity rapidly, even among the “common folk” not just celebrities. There are plastic surgeries to reshape and enhance almost every part of the body. If you are considering having one of these procedures done, one of the questions one your mind may be, “What is the recovery going to be like”?

This is certainly a question to discuss with your cosmetic surgeon, but this article will give you a brief run down on the types of recoveries you can expect from several of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures.

Breast Enhancement

Breast enhancement can include not only the insertion of breast implants, but also a breast lift. The recoveries from each are slightly different although the procedures are often combined making the recoveries one and the same. A breast lift is somewhat more traumatic to the breast tissues as some of the skin is actually removed and the areola is often completely repositioned.

Breast implant surgery today, is often accomplished with just tiny little incisions. For both plastic surgery operations, patients will generally experience a great deal of swelling,   bruising , and breast discomfort or pain. Pain relieving medications are typically prescribed by the plastic surgeon that can significantly relieve these issues but plenty of rest will be require during the week after surgery.

Most cosmetic surgeons also recommend limited movement of the arms during the first few days. Most patients can be back to work after one or two weeks, although all of the swelling will take several months to subside.

Face Lifts

A face lift is similar to a breast lift in that skin is removed leaving a long scar. The recovery period from a face lift will involve swelling,  bruising , and pain (these are features of all the surgeries as they are actually signs of the body’s natural healing processes).

Most people are not comfortable returning to work until most of the swelling has gone down, but from a purely medical perspective it is possible to return earlier. There will be scars from this cosmetic surgery, but hopefully the plastic surgeon will have deftly hid them well within the hairline.


Rhinoplasty, commonly known as a nose job, is one of the most popular plastic surgeries performed today. The recovery period will of course include swelling and  bruising . The nose will be packed with gauze for a day or two to keep the newly formed shape from collapsing. A nose brace may be required for weeks thereafter to protect it from harm. Cosmetic surgeons will prescribe patients medication to help manage the pain and tenderness. Most patients can be back to work within a week.


Liposuction can be performed on many different areas of the body but the recovery is typically the same for all. The area that received the trauma will be sore and perhaps  bruised  and swollen. The muscles around the area will also be sore for a few days afterward.

Although there may be some pain and discomfort, most plastic surgeons recommend that liposuction patients get up and start walking around as soon as possible post-surgery in order to get the circulation going again to prevent blood clots.

As you can tell from this article, there is a substantial recovery period required for most cosmetic surgery, but fortunately the results of these plastic surgeries make the few days of discomfort well worth the effort.