Here’s how much downtime you’ll need for top cosmetic procedures

Here’s how much downtime you’ll need for top cosmetic procedures
Thinking about an enhancement before summer vacation or a big event? You might need more time to recover than you think. While you may be up and moving a week or two after your procedure, your results could take a lot longer to show. Here’s how much downtime you’ll need for top procedures on RealSelf.

Breast augmentation

Initial recovery: 2 days
Resume day-to-day activities: 2-3 days
Full results: 90% of swelling resolved at 3 months – may take 9-12 months to fully drop and fluff
“Start massage of the implants (moving them within the pockets) one to two weeks post op to keep pockets open and spacious,” said Dr. Robert Tornambe, a New York plastic surgeon. “Do it daily forever. This keeps the breasts soft and decreases capsular contracture, in my experience.”
Dr. Erica Anderson, a Reston, Virginia, plastic surgeon, said it’s important do only what feels right during recovery.
Listen to your body,” Anderson said. “If it hurts, don’t do it.”


Tummy tuck

Initial recovery: 5 days
Resume day-to-day activities: 1 to 2 weeks
Full results: 4-6 months
“Because of the nature of tummy tuck surgery with stitches placed to tighten the abdominal muscles, it is not uncommon for patients to experience symptoms of reflux or heartburn,” said Dr. Armando Soto, an Orlando plastic surgeon. “I always recommend my tummy tuck patients keep an antacid handy and teach them what to watch out for so they don’t feel too uncomfortable.”


Brazilian butt lift

Initial recovery: 2 weeks – no sitting or pressure on butt for the first two weeks
Resume day-to-day activities: 2-3 weeks
Full results: 4-6 months
“Avoid pressure on the butt after surgery for two to three months to help with fat graft survival,” said John L. Burns Jr., a Dallas plastic surgeon. “No sitting on a hard surface. If sitting, make sure to get up and walk around every hour. Do not sit for more than one hour at a time.”



Initial recovery: 2-3 days
Resume day-to-day activities: 1 week
Full results: 6 months to a year
“Do not blow your nose for three weeks (can cause bleeding),” said Dr. Tornambe. “Use a nasal saline spray in meantime to loosen dried blood and debris to clear your nasal passages.”


Mommy makeover

Initial recovery: 1 week
Resume day-to-day activities: 2-3 weeks
Full results: 4-6 months
“I would say that the most important thing all mommy makeover patients should understand is how critical it is to follow their surgeon’s instructions in every detail, and to remember that while the World Wide Web is a wonderful resource for gathering preoperative knowledge, the only source of information on their postoperative care that they pursue should be their chosen surgeon and that surgeons office,” said Dr. Soto.

Breast reduction

Initial recovery: 2-5 days
Resume day-to-day activities: 1-2 weeks
Full results: 3-4 months
“Carefully decide your desired size and communicate those desires clearly to the surgeon before surgery,” said Dr. Tornambe. “Show photos of the desired size.”



Initial recovery: Immediate
Resume day-to-day activities: Immediate
Full results: 3-14 days
“I suggest my patients avoid excessive alcohol intake or excessive exercise for about eight hours after the treatment to prevent any potential bruising that can occur after the injections,” said Dr. Dilip D. Madnani, a New York facial plastic surgeon. “The full effects of Botox are seen by two weeks, so I always have my patients follow up at that time for an evaluation as to the effectiveness of treatment.”


Initial recovery: 2-3 days
Resume day-to-day activities: 1 week
Full results: 6 months or more
Dr. Burns recommends, “wearing the post surgical compression garments help to achieve the smoothest results.” Dr. Tornambe said leading up to surgery you should, “try to get as close to ideal weight with diet and exercise before surgery to maximize results.”



Initial recovery: 5-7 days
Resume day-to-day activities: 1-2 weeks
Full results: 4-6 months
“Expect to look like you went 10 rounds with the heavyweight champ right after surgery,” said Dr. Tornambe. “My facelift patients hate me for two weeks after surgery but love me after six to eight weeks. Also, change hair style or color, or even eyeglasses after surgery, to confuse friends and throw them off the scent!”

Eyelid surgery

Initial recovery: 2-4 days
Resume day to day activities: 4-7 days
Full results: 3-4 months
“I am a big fan of ice packs over the eyelids to further improve and hasten the recovery from swelling,” said Dr. Madnani. “I also suggest my patients keep their heads elevated when they sleep at night for a week and perform diligent wound care to ensure optimal healing around the incisions.”

When considering any cosmetic procedure, Dr. Tornambe said it’s always best to set the right expectation.
“Realistic expectations are vitally important when considering cosmetic surgery,” Dr. Tornambe said. “Be direct, honest, and straightforward with your plastic surgeon regarding desires prior to surgery. Ask your surgeon to be just as honest. Are your goals realistic? Can he or she deliver those expectations?”

Ready to contact an expert? Find a doctor near you.


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