Plastic surgery has witnessed increasing popularity in recent years. Whether it’s a nose reshaping procedure or a multi-stage body contouring surgery, the desire for noticeable results is often strong.

Please note that every procedure, regardless of complexity, requires careful consideration and consultation with a qualified medical professional to ensure appropriate treatment planning and realistic expectations.

But how long does it take to recover from plastic surgery?

a woman that's recovering from breast augmentation

The recovery time from plastic surgery varies depending on many factors. Generally, most patients can resume normal activities within a few weeks, but some may need up to six weeks or longer to fully recover.

In this article, we’ll break down the recovery time for different types of plastic surgery, the factors that affect the recovery process, and tips for a successful recovery.

Keep reading to learn more!

Recovery Time for Different Types of Plastic Surgery

Recovery time after plastic surgery can vary widely depending on the type of procedure you undergo. Here we will examine some of the most common techniques in plastic surgery and their respective recovery periods.

1. Non-surgical Injectables

a young woman injecting botox

For minor procedures such as Botox injections or dermal fillers, there is little to no downtime required. Patients can usually return to their normal activities in a few hours or right after the procedure.

2. Facial procedures

Facial surgeries such as rhinoplasty (nose job) or facelifts require slightly longer recovery times. Swelling and bruising may occur for up to two weeks following these procedures, but patients can typically return to work within 10-14 days. For a full recovery, it often takes 5 to 6 weeks for most patients. However, it’s important to note that in the case of rhinoplasty, it can take up to a year for swelling to completely subside.

3. Body contouring

Body contouring procedures like liposuction or tummy tucks often require more extensive healing periods. You may need a recovery period of up to 2 weeks, during which you should refrain from working and engaging in heavy physical activity.

4. Breast procedures

Breast augmentation or breast reduction surgeries also require significant recovery time. For a full recovery, it may take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. However, you are likely to not experience discomfort or pain after 3-4 weeks post-surgery.

a woman holding breast augmentation implants

Factors That Affect Recovery Time

There are many factors that may potentially affect your recovery time, including pre and post-surgery factors.

1. The type of procedure

The most obvious factor is the procedure that you take. More invasive procedures, such as facelifts or tummy tucks, typically require longer recovery times.

2. Patient’s health condition

Another key factor that affects recovery time is the patient’s overall health before and after surgery. Patients who are in good physical health with a healthy lifestyle are likely to recover faster. Those with existing health issues may experience more pain and discomfort and longer recovery time.

3. Age

Age can play a role in recovery time. Older patients may take longer to heal because their bodies naturally have a slower healing process.

4. Post-operative care

Following post-operative instructions from your surgeon carefully is crucial for achieving optimal results and minimizing downtime after plastic surgery. This includes getting enough rest, avoiding strenuous activity or heavy lifting for several weeks, taking prescribed medications as directed, and attending all follow-up appointments with your surgeon.

While each case will be unique based on these various factors listed above, it’s important to consult with your doctor ahead of time regarding an estimated timeline for expected results post-surgery.

a woman taking rest after plastic surgery

Tips for a Successful Recovery

Here are some tips for those who have had plastic surgery done recently, or are planning to get one done.

1. Follow your surgeon’s instructions

It is important to carefully follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions. This may include taking medication as directed, avoiding certain activities or movements, and keeping the surgical area clean and dry.

2. Nutrition

Proper nutrition is crucial for a speedy recovery. Make sure you go for healthy options such as whole, fibre-rich, and lean protein food. Fast food, high sugar, or alcohol should be avoided at all costs.

3. Drink more water

Water is also recommended for staying hydrated, especially after plastic surgery. You should drink enough water (5-6 cups minimum) daily. Drinking enough water helps you avoid dehydration, which can negatively affect the recovery of your treated skin areas.

4. Rest more

Getting enough rest during your recovery period is also important. Take time off work if necessary and avoid physical activities for several weeks after surgery. Resting gives your body time to heal properly, and the treated areas can remain in place.

5. Wear the right clothing

Another tip for a smooth recovery is to wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing that does not put pressure on the treated areas. You may also need to wear special garments or bandages to support the healing process and reduce swelling. Avoid wearing tight or restrictive clothing that may interfere with blood circulation or cause irritation or infection.


The recovery time for plastic surgery varies depending on many different factors. Remember that patience is vital when it comes to recovering from plastic surgery. Rushing back into your regular routine too soon can delay healing and lead to complications. Take the necessary time off work or other obligations to rest and allow your body to heal fully.

By understanding what to expect during the recovery process, taking steps to promote healing, and following all post-operative instructions provided by your plastic surgeon, you can help ensure a safe and smooth recovery from any type of cosmetic surgery procedure.