If you are considering plastic surgery, one very important aspect that you might be interested in is how long does recovery take? Of course there are many types of surgical intervention and each can have a different level of difficulty, anesthesia and incision type. Some surgeries are just naturally more invasive and complicated, and they will require more recovery time. Other types of surgical interventions might require drains, daily dressings or even physical therapy after completion. There are many factors that can affect how long recovery might take for the surgical procedure that you are undergoing. Just remember that it will be worth it when all the healing is done and you look and feel wonderful!
TYPE OF SURGERY AFFECTS RECOVERY LENGTH:
One of the first things to consider is the type of surgery you are planning to have. If you are having a small, simple procedure (like a mole removal) it might only require local anesthesia during an office visit and you could return to work the same day!
Patients that are having a combination of surgeries, such as a Mommy Makeover or a Body Lift will naturally have longer recovery periods due to the more extensive amount of surgery done at the time. These surgeries require general anesthesia as well as possible drains that can be left in to remove excess post-surgical fluids. Each person’s surgical case is different and may require different recovery times. These types of surgery are more involved than a simple office procedure and the recovery length is comparatively longer.
BASIC CONSIDERATIONS FOR PLASTIC SURGERY RECOVERY PERIODS:
One thing to consider is what kind of occupation you have. If you have a desk job, you might be able to return to work more quickly than if you are a pipefitter. If your position requires you to do a lot of physical activity, you might have to plan for a longer recovery period at home.
Also, plastic surgery healing can have some obvious effects on your face or body. Sometimes there is obvious swelling and bruising associated with facial plastic or reconstructive surgery. If you work alone or from home, then you might be able to return to work sooner with no issues. But, if you have a very high profile position, you may want to allow more time for healing before you return to work. Then, you can go back to work enjoying the praise of your coworkers as they try to figure out why you look so good!
Another thing that is good to remember is that all surgeries are different and all people heal at different rates. Do not be too hard on yourself. This is your body and you deserve the time you need to heal peacefully. Just think of all those days you were sick and went to work anyway!!
TYPICAL RECOVERY PERIODS FOR POPULAR SURGERIES:
Allow at least one week for these procedures:
-Facial Laser Surgery
-Arm Lift or Brachioplasty
Allow at least two weeks for these procedures:
Allow at least three or four weeks for these procedures:
-Body Lift (tummy tuck, butt lift, thigh lift – typically done after a large weight loss)
-Mommy Makeover (combination of tummy tuck, breast lift/augmentation and liposuction)
-Breast Lift with Augmentation
-Butt Augmentation with Implants
It is best to remember that these are just general guidelines. ALWAYS consult your doctor about how much time you will need for recovery. Returning to activities such as exercise, jogging and physical pursuits may take even longer. And remember that facial surgeries may require longer downtime for the obvious bruising and swelling to heal before returning to a public job or social interactions.
TAKING STEPS TO HAVE A GREAT RECOVERY:
- PREPARE: Make sure that you are eating healthily, drinking plenty of water and exercising. It helps to make sure you are getting plenty of rest. If you are a smoker, stop smoking so that your body can heal itself faster. Keep alcohol to a minimum before surgery. Discuss your expectations with your physician before undergoing the procedure.
- PLAN: After speaking to your physician about your recovery phase, make plans so that you have everything you need at home for your recovery. Speak to your family about how they can help with your recovery. Purchase special foods, ice packs, pillows or anything the doctor tells you will be necessary for your recovery. Make sure to plan to be off work an adequate amount of time.
- UNDERSTAND: Make sure that you understand what surgical procedure you are having done and what the doctor expects during your recovery. Realize that healing takes time and do not be disappointed when you see swelling or bruising. Just know that in a few weeks time, this will dissipate and the results you expect will be there for you to enjoy. Healing takes time.
- FOLLOW YOUR DOCTOR’S ORDERS: It is incredibly important to follow your doctor’s orders. They know what is best for your health. They worked hard to make your surgery a success. They are experienced professionals who have your best interests at heart! Take medications as prescribed and be sure to attend follow-up appointments. They are vital to a good recovery. Write down questions and ask them before your surgery.
Dr. Robert Tornambe has the honor of being listed among the “Best Doctors” by NY Magazine and is considered to be a top plastic surgeon of New York City by patients and peers. He is frequently featured as a lecturer on circuits in North America and Europe and as an expert on many radio and television guest spots. His belief in his physician’s oath of “first do no harm” has helped him build a thriving practice over the last twenty years. His philosophy on plastic surgery is one of simplicity and enhancing the patient’s own natural features to look more beautiful. It has earned him much success. Dr. Robert Tornambe