The Recovery Process For Popular Procedures

Once you’ve done your research, decided on the right procedure for you, and chosen a trusted provider like Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis, chances are you’re ready to get through your surgery and jump back into your regular routine. Not so fast! 

Helping you manage your recovery properly is one of our highest priorities. To ensure the safest healing and most successful results, you’ll have a specific set of guidelines and instructions to adhere to after your procedure is complete. While the tendency to bruise and swell varies from case to case, most procedures have an average downtime that will help you determine how much time off from work you’ll need. 

Below, we’ll take a look at some of our most popular procedures, and walk you through the recovery process for each. Keep reading to learn more! 

Breast Augmentation

Following your breast augmentation surgery, you should expect some minimal to moderate swelling or bruising to be present temporarily, but these symptoms should resolve with time. Most discomfort will be mild, and many women will feel well enough to return to work, school, and their gentle daily routines within 5-7 days or so. The majority of swelling should subside within four to six weeks, at which point your breasts will be close to or at their final appearance. We generally expect the size and shape to be fully settled at about three months post-surgery.

Breast Lift

It’s common to experience temporary bruising or swelling after a breast lift procedure, and you can expect it to subside as your recovery progresses. Resting for the remainder of the day surgery is performed is recommended, but light activities can usually be resumed within a few days. Depending on the nature of your job, you may be able to return to work after at least a week, but exercise and more strenuous activities will need to be avoided for a few weeks. Over the course of a few months, the shape and position of the breasts will gradually settle into place. Incision lines will also fade, leaving you with a shapelier and firmer breast appearance.

Breast Reduction

After spending a brief time in supervised recovery, you will be able to continue your recovery at home. Your chest will be bandaged, and you may be sent home in a surgical bra. Your natural healing rate, pain tolerance, and the extent of the surgery performed will determine how much time you need to recover from your breast reduction procedure. You will be able to get up and walk around the same day of surgery, although you should have a trusted adult with you for the first 24 hours since you won’t have a full range of motion in your chest and shoulders to begin with.

Most patients can drive and return to a desk job within the second week after surgery, though you will need to wait at least 3-4 weeks before resuming exercise to ensure your incisions heal properly and to reduce the risk of infection. You’ll usually be able to enjoy the results of your breast reduction within 3-6 months, but you may continue to notice subtle changes for 6-12 months post-surgery.

Tummy Tuck

Tummy tucks involve surgery on the abdominal muscles, so recovery can take more time than that of other procedures. Expect to be sore and slightly uncomfortable for the first week or so, and plan to spend the first few days resting quietly at home. You may have drains temporarily placed in the incisions to help remove fluid after surgery. If this is the case for you, you’ll be given detailed instructions for keeping the area clean until they are removed after a few days.

You should be able to return to work anywhere from 10 days to 4 weeks after your surgery, depending on how physically demanding your job is. Even with limits on lifting and straining, you’ll be able to resume daily activities like driving, cooking, and shopping after the first 2 or 3 weeks. You can expect to see the results of the procedure after six to eight months.

The Recovery Process For Popular Procedures


Following a liposuction procedure, you’ll need to spend some time resting and recuperating. You’ll have a special compression garment to wear during this period to help assist in proper healing and resolution of swelling. Although some swelling and bruising will occur, these are common side effects that are only temporary. You should be able to return to work after the swelling subsides and you feel comfortable enough to do so, usually within 3-6 days. Exercise and other strenuous activities should still be avoided for at least a few weeks.


In the days immediately following surgery, some minor bruising, swelling, and mild pain may occur in the eye and nose area. During this time, you’ll want to limit your activity and remain upright as much as possible. Your face may feel and look puffy, especially within the first 24 hours, and you’ll want to be very careful blowing your nose for the first few weeks after surgery! Most people can return to school or work within 3-6 days but be aware that bruising will be visible for about a week. You should see early settling after a month or so, but it will take a full year for the real result to become apparent.


A true facelift is major surgery that involves manipulating the muscle and connective tissue. This leads to a longer recovery process overall. There will be swelling and bruising in the first few days after surgery, peaking at about three or four days. By about 2 weeks post-surgery, most of the swelling will be gone, but you may still have some mild bruising and swelling around the eyes, behind the ears, or on the sides of your face and neck.

You’ll want to keep your physical activity levels light and avoid any strenuous physical activity during this time. You may feel like returning to work after about 10-14 days. This is typically fine if your job doesn’t involve any physical exertion.

Towards the end of the third week you should notice significant improvement in the quality of your facial skin and incisions, though some mild itching and numbness may remain. Any bruising should be completely healed by this time, and any swelling minimal. By one-month post op, almost all your swelling or bruising should have dissipated, and the result should be visible.

Trust the experts at Plastic Surgery Group of Memphis

When you’re recovering from a plastic surgery procedure it’s can tempting to get back to your normal routine as quickly as possible. However, it’s incredibly important that you give your body the time it needs to heal. Your personal recovery will depend on several variables, including the procedure you’ve chosen, how your body has responded, what your job entails, and your activity routine, to name just a few.

By listening to your body and following your plastic surgeon’s instructions to the letter, you’ll be able to heal fully and return to the office, school, or gym knowing you’re truly able to do so. Remember it’s a recovery process, so take the time you need to get back to 100% instead of jumping back in before you’re ready. If you have any further questions or concerns about recovering from plastic surgery, feel free to get in touch with our office and speak with one of our trusted experts. We’re happy to set your mind at ease!