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The Types of Plastic Surgery That Need the Most Recovery Time

Updated: Jun 10, 2022

In today's world, plastic surgery has become very popular among women and men of all ages. However, the question on everyone's mind always seems to be about recovery and the total time it will take for them to fully return to their daily routines after surgery. Recovery times may vary depending on the procedure you decide to undergo and how well you follow the post-operative care instructions. The most common cosmetic procedures and their recovery times are explained below.

Liposuction Recovery Time

Liposuction is a common type of cosmetic surgery that breaks down and suctions out fat cells from various parts of the body. Most liposuction procedures focus on excess fat that surrounds the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, chin, neck, arms, calves, or back. Liposuction can help you look and feel healthier by removing stubborn fat that doesn't respond to typical changes in diet or exercise.


Recovery time depends on the total amount of fat removed during the procedure, as well as specific office or hospital requirements. The patient may leave the surgical center within a few hours of surgery or may have to spend the night for observation.

Your doctor will likely insert a drainage tube to drain excess fluid from the wound, and any incision where the cannula was inserted may leak or drain fluid for several days. Typically, the patient will need to wear compression garments for up to three weeks to keep the skin compressed for optimal healing. Postoperative instructions may also include certain physical restrictions, as well as antibiotics.

Buttock Augmentation Surgery Recovery Time

Each buttock augmentation is unique to each patient and recovery times may vary. Typically, recovery can be expected to occur within 2 to 3 weeks. However, undergoing surgery on any part of the buttock requires a delicate recovery. This is because there is so much pressure on the skin around the buttocks that it can cause the skin to stretch too much and then pull apart and tear the stitches, preventing proper healing. This area is prone to separation and infection. You should check your wounds often during recovery.

Breast augmentation surgery recovery time

Breast augmentation is a surgical enhancement of the breasts. This procedure can effectively change the size, shape, and physical feel of the breasts. Breast augmentation is an outpatient procedure performed under general or local anesthesia with sedation.

Breast reduction surgery recovery time

Women who have very large breasts tend to be disproportionate and may experience neck pain, back pain, or other such discomfort. Large breasts can become disproportionate over time. A breast reduction surgery can correct the proportions and relieve the patient of previous discomfort. This surgery is also called reduction mammoplasty. By means of it, some tissue and skin are removed from the breasts, so that the breasts are reduced in size and also reshaped for a better profile.

Breast reduction surgery is a safe and common procedure. However, this is a major surgery and will require some time and proper care to recover effectively.

Recovering from breast reduction surgery

Shortly after surgery, your breasts may appear swollen and lumpy. Your breasts will feel tender for a few days and will slowly ease. After a few weeks, the final shape of your breasts will become apparent. In this surgery, all the breast tissue is altered, so it takes a considerable time (almost 6 months) for the breasts to fully heal and the swelling to go down completely.

Butt Lift Surgery Recovery Time

A butt lift is a form of cosmetic surgery in which the sagging skin of the buttocks is tightened. It gives your butt a more defined and well-toned profile. Like face lifts, body lifts and, in particular, the butt lift is a complicated procedure and great care must be taken not only before surgery but also after it if you want to avoid complications and end up with satisfactory results.

The buttock lift has quickly become a popular cosmetic procedure. However, the patient is prone to some discomfort after the surgery. Although the level of this discomfort can be controlled with the help of medications prescribed by the doctor, proper postoperative care is essential to facilitate healing.

The recovery processes

You may always think of your recovery as a "period"; but in reality, it is much more like a "process." Although you may think that the breast lift surgery procedure is the only thing to get through, both pre- and post-operative care are equally important.

A couple of factors will determine the total time of your recovery process. First, whether or not your breast lift was a stand-alone procedure. For example, if you have breast implants and augmentation placed in conjunction with your breast lift, then your recovery process will most likely take longer than a breast lift procedure alone. Also, diligently following the instructions for pre-operative and post-operative care, including care of your incisions, determines how well your recovery process will go.

Rhinoplasty Recovery Time

Rhinoplasty is a form of plastic surgery in which the external structure of the nose is altered.

The patient who undergoes this particular form of plastic surgery will have their nasal contour permanently improved. This is possible when the nasal cartilage and nasal bone are worked and reshaped by an expert surgeon.

What to expect after surgery?

Rhinoplasty often requires general anesthesia or sometimes semi-conscious anesthesia. Patients typically experience mild pain after the procedure and are able to control this pain with over-the-counter pain medications.

After surgery, the nose is splinted and bandaged to protect the area for up to a week. These bandages are removed at the follow-up appointment when the time comes. The doctor will also review all post-operative care instructions. It is important that you follow these instructions diligently to avoid prolonging the recovery process.

The recovery time for this facial surgery is from one week to one month. For longer and more challenging rhinoplasty procedures it may take more than a month to be fully recovered and ready to resume all normal activities.

The expectations of each person and the results of rhinoplasty may vary from case to case, depending on how each alteration of the nose is executed individually. The various rhinoplasty techniques used during surgery have a role in determining overall downtime. These considerations are listed below:

Was the rhinoplasty open or closed?

Open rhinoplasty – performed by making a small incision in the columella, the soft tissue that separates the nostrils. This technique allows easy access to the underlying bone and cartilage structure. The open technique is best used when considering a revision rhinoplasty because the original structure of the nose has already been altered.

Closed Rhinoplasty – performed by making all the necessary incisions completely hidden within the nostrils. With no external incisions, the closed technique is less invasive and does not create any visible scars at all.

Was the patient's nasal bones broken or not?

This is a very precise and exact cut of the bone to narrow or straighten it in certain areas. The technical term for what most describes as "breaking the nose" is called an osteotomy.

If osteotomies were performed, the nose had to be surgically broken and slight prolonged bruising along with swelling can be expected during the initial recovery.

Patients are generally advised to stay away from strenuous activity for a couple of weeks and not resume full work routines until after a month or when their doctor has given them permission to resume.

Ear surgery recovery time

The ears are very sensitive, and something that we use on a daily basis, therefore the recovery is done in stages.

First, immediately after surgery, your hearing may be more intense or decreased due to bleeding in the eardrum. This fluid will decrease after a week. As you recover, your ears will be quite sensitive to even the most normal and quiet noises. In the first few weeks, avoid heavy lifting.

The patient should not blow their nose or cough forcefully. Doing so could tear your stitches and cause further injury to your ear. Avoid getting water in your ears at all costs in the early stages of recovery. The water can add to the fluid that is already draining and clog the ear completely, causing significant discomfort. This could also interfere with the healing process.

A week off may be all that is needed before returning to work if the patient's occupation is sedentary. However, in cases where the patient has to take on a heavy workload, it will take three weeks to be sure. The pain should be mild enough to use over-the-counter pain relievers, but depending on the extent of the surgery, the doctor might prescribe something stronger.

For 24 hours after surgery, the ears will be bandaged and the bandages must be kept clean and dry. The ear or ears may appear larger due to swelling. This is normal and is to be expected. Avoid water near the ears. If your doctor allows you to wash your hair, he or she will give you more detailed instructions on how to do it correctly.

After twenty-four to seventy-two hours, the patient should wear a designated tape over the ear as much as possible. The swelling should start to go down at this point. Most patients can return to work in three days to a week. However, this is done on a case-by-case basis. It is good to remember that there may still be swelling and even styling can affect the amount of pain you may experience.

After a week or so, hearing should return to normal, but it may still be overwhelming, and in some cases, the patient may not feel comfortable in social situations due to noise volumes.

It's important to remember that swelling can continue for up to three months, so don't be alarmed if you still have some swelling during this time. Your doctor will update you on your healing progress at your follow-up appointments.

Face lift surgery recovery time

For the first few days after surgery, the patient will be bandaged and will want to keep their head elevated as much as possible. This surgery causes some swelling as well as redness and keeping the head elevated helps reduce this effect.

Due to the swelling, the patient may experience some discomfort and pain medication will be prescribed to relieve it. The patient should not move their face in a strenuous manner, such as changing facial expressions. Although it is good not to baby the area, you should not exercise the face until it is completely healed to avoid tearing of the skin.

Full recovery is usually a little over a week, during which time the user may find it difficult to perform basic tasks such as cooking and cleaning. If the patient feels that she cannot perform basic tasks, she should ask a friend or family member for help. Don't do more than she can handle to avoid complications during recovery.

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