People like results, but they don’t always like surgery. They ask questions like, how long does it take to recover from plastic surgery? Isn’t cosmetic surgery going to be faster? The truth is that these questions get asked for a reason: you might like your plastic surgery results, but your body does not really like the process.
How Long Does it Take to Recover From Plastic Surgery Normally?
That’s why surgeons have endeavored to make plastic surgery ever less invasive. Incisions have gotten smaller. New garments have made swelling easier to manage. New techniques promote rapid healing. The end result is a recovery that’s faster and results that tend to be better.
How long does it take to recovery from plastic surgery is going to vary based on the procedure. Broadly speaking, however, recovery times have gotten to be faster, especially in cases of procedures that have adopted less invasive techniques.
The Pathway to Recovery
Nearly all plastic surgery procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. This means that the vast majority of recovery happens at home. Indeed, most patients are sent home relatively soon after their procedure has finished being performed, unless there are complications that warrant closer observation over a longer period of time.
Even procedures such as breast augmentation and tummy tucks are performed on an outpatient basis. Part of the reason for this has to do with where you feel comfortable. Hospitals are a great setting for monitoring a patient–but it’s not the best place to heal. When you’re home and comfortable, your body tends to heal a little bit more quickly (or, at least, that’s the idea).
What Recovery Usually Looks Like
Everyone’s recovery is going to be unique. That shouldn’t be surprising. After all, everyone’s body is different. In general, however, recovery will tend to take the following path:
- Initial Recovery: Immediately after surgery, you’ll likely spend a couple of hours being monitored on site, in a hospital setting, before being allowed to return home.
- Limited Mobility: In the days immediately after your surgery, you will likely have limited mobility. It’s still important that you get up and walk, of course, but some of your other behaviors will likely be curtailed. For more substantial surgeries, this might extend over a week.
- Swelling Begins to Subside: Swelling is one of your body’s most natural reactions to surgery. But keeping swelling under control is one of the keys to ensuring that your results look as good as possible. Swelling should start to subside within a couple of weeks of your procedure.
- Getting Back to Life: When swelling starts to go down, that’s a pretty good sign that your body is getting back to normal. Many patients are able to start participating in normal activities once swelling is under control. This could include driving, working, and so on.
- Exercise and Scarring: Towards the end of recovery, patients will be allowed to start exercising normally again. Additionally, the incision site should begin to return to a more normal color, depending on the type of procedure that was performed.
- Follow up care: Some procedures require periodic follow up care. This will depend on the procedure performed. A breast augmentation, for example, might require an annual check of the implant itself.
Follow Your Surgeon’s Recovery Instructions
It’s very important to note that you should be following your surgeon’s recovery instructions. The above is just an example of what a timeline might look like. It’s just to give you a sense of the broad steps of recovery.
But your surgeon should give you very specific instructions about what you can and cannot do (and what you should do). It’s always important to follow those instructions as closely as possible. That’s because your recovery is an incredibly important stage of the plastic surgery process.
If you’re looking to find out how long it takes to recovery from plastic surgery, you can get a general idea from good internet research. But to get the specifics, as they apply to your procedure and your body, you’ll definitely be best off talking to a plastic surgeon (especially if it’s, you know, the same plastic surgeon performing the procedure).
Don’t be afraid to ask for detailed recovery instructions. The more you know about your recovery, the better prepared you’ll be when the time comes to go through it. And the better your recovery goes, the more likely you are to end up with your desired outcome.