How Much Time Will You Need to Recover From Plastic Surgery?

Plastic Surgery Recovery Timeline San Diego, CA

By on July 19th, 2019

Plastic surgery offers patients a number of benefits, whether they’re having a procedure done for cosmetic or medical reasons.

Most plastic surgery procedures do involve a recovery period, though, during which patients need to closely follow their surgeon’s instructions to ensure safe healing and optimal results.

The length of recovery largely depends on the type of procedure performed. San Diego plastic surgeon Brian Reagan discusses four of the most popular surgical procedures according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and what patients can expect in terms of each procedure’s recovery period.


The recovery period for liposuction usually lasts between three and 10 days. Surgeons typically have patients wear a compression garment for one to two months and may prescribe an antibiotic to prevent infection.

Patients are advised not to smoke and to avoid drinking alcohol. They should also avoid rigorous exercise for four to six weeks. Usually, they can resume work after a few days.

Tummy Tuck

The recovery period for a tummy tuck is a bit more involved. Surgeons recommend between 10 and 14 days of downtime or more, and patients may need to have someone assist them during this time, especially if they have small children to care for.

Patients should be able to resume working after two to three weeks, but they should avoid exercise and heavy lifting for four to six weeks.

Breast Augmentation, Lift and Reduction

Breast surgeries normally require one to two weeks of downtime. Plus, patients may need to wear a compression garment or a surgical bra as they heal.

Patients should be able to resume working after the first week, but they should avoid chest exercises or activities that stretch the breast area, including reaching, lifting, pulling, and pushing, for up to six weeks. 

Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery is less invasive than some of the previously mentioned procedures so the recovery time is often faster. Eyelid surgery typically involves seven to 10 days of downtime and applying cold compresses.

Patients should consult with their surgeons about when they can start wearing eye makeup again, and they should avoid activities that increase blood flow to the eye area, including bending and lifting, for two to three weeks.

Book an Appointment

If you’d like to learn more about the recovery process for a specific procedure you’re considering, call or email the team at True Beauty San Diego Aesthetic Surgery & Medicine today to set up an appointment.