How long does it take to recover from plastic surgery?

Breast Augmentation / Breast Reduction / Tummy Tucks / Breast Lift / Post Pregnancy Surgery / Surgical Tips

1 Aug 2023

How long does it take to recover from plastic surgery?

Considering plastic surgery? Some of the top questions that we hear from our patients are, “how long will it take to recover? and “how much time will I need to take off work?”

Being prepared for your recovery process is vital in order to successfully plan your surgery. Read on for all of our most FAQ’s about recovering from breast and body surgery, including our top tips to bounce back from surgery sooner!

How much time will I need to take off work?

The length of time it takes to recover and return to work after surgery will vary depending on the procedure performed and the person operated on. General guides for time off work such as office duties or retail roles are as follows:

Breast augmentation - We recommend taking 1-2 weeks off work.

Breast reduction/lift – We recommend taking 2 weeks off work.

Breast implant removal/replacement – We recommend taking 1-2 weeks off work.

Abdominoplasty - We recommend taking at least 3 weeks off work, or longer for more physical roles. Check this article for more in-depth information about recovering from a tummy tuck.

Lower body lift – We recommend taking at least 4 weeks off work. The tummy tuck recovery blog above may also be helpful.

Please note that these timelines are general guides, and you may require more or less time off work depending on the speed of your individual recovery process. More information about the recovery period for each individual procedure can be found under the procedure tab on our website.

How do I manage my family while I recover?

While most patients understand the need to take time off work, the reality is that they also need time off ‘work’ at home too!

The majority of our patients will require assistance for at least the first few days but for those with small children or other family responsibilities, hands-on help is needed for longer. More advice about how to manage surgery and your young family can be found HERE.

How can I make the recovery process more comfortable?

You may be interested in looking into specialist recovery services like Relax & Recover! They are a specialty service assisting in helping women to recover after surgery. Not only do they provide luxurious surgery recovery packs, but they also offer surgery concierge and nursing assistance services. Please note that Relax and Recover is a separate business to our practice and we do not have any commercial connection. We simply suggest them to patients who may find them useful, just as others have done during their recovery phase. You can find out more via their website.

Utilise our HEALITE LED therapy!

All of our patients are offered two complimentary Healite LED therapy sessions following their surgery with us. Healite is a form of low-level light therapy that works to promote wound healing, pain relief, collagen production and scar minimisation post-surgery. Not to mention, it is ultra-relaxing! Remember to book your complimentary Healite sessions within the first 3 weeks post-op for the best effect.

Our top tips to bounce back from surgery sooner

1.    Nutrition

What you eat is important to your recovery process. Protein is the building block our cells need to recover and rebuild. Therefore, a well-balanced diet that is high in protein and incorporates lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and healthy fats is recommended. Consider home delivery services, such as Light n Easy, Hello Fresh or Marley Spoon, especially in those early weeks after surgery!

2.   Plenty of sleep and rest

Disturbance to sleep and inadequate rest post operatively have been linked to increased pain sensitivity, wound breakdown, a heightened emotional state and overall poorer recovery.

3.   Wearing your surgical garment 24/7

Your compression garment is effective in managing post-operative swelling and fluid retention by increasing blood circulation and nutrients to the surgical area. It assists in decreasing discomfort, bruising, and pressure on the incisions which can help reduce visible scars.

4.   Accept this process can feel like a roller coaster

Just as important as your physical recovery and not to be overlooked is your emotional well-being during and post-surgery. It sounds cliché but the range of emotions and feelings you will go through can be compared to a “roller coaster ride”. Accept this process and know all of the mental ups and downs are normal and will soon be a distant memory.

5.   Attend all of your post-operative appointments and follow your post-operative instructions diligently

Before surgery we will provide you with a Plastic Surgery Planner, a comprehensive guide with instructions for preparing for surgery and your recovery process. Our nursing team will generally see you for fortnightly appointments after surgery, right up until your dressings are ready to be removed at 6 weeks post-op and your scar management regime can be commenced. It is very important to attend all of your scheduled post-operative appointments to ensure your recovery process is as seamless as possible!

Have a question about your recovery process following surgery with us?

Many of our most common patient questions after breast and body surgery can be found HERE. Have a specific question or concern? Please do not hesitate to contact myself or one of our friendly team on 4920 7700.

More blogs that you may be interested in:

Practice Nurse Leecy Hunter Plastic Surgery

Blog Author:

Alecia Baker, Practice Nurse, Hunter Plastic Surgery

About Alecia

Alecia joined us as our Practice Nurses in 2018. She is a Registered Nurse with extensive experience in nursing and patient management in some of the busiest hospital settings in the Hunter! She really cares about helping our patients become healthy and happy. Her kind and calm manner help them feel comfortable during their journey with us.

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