Plastic Surgery Recovery Guide: How Many PTO Days You'll Need to Take for Every Plastic Surgery Procedure

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Serving Baltimore, Columbia, Owings Mills, Towson, Nearby Maryland & Lower Pennsylvania

Posted: February 15, 2023
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Plastic surgery is increasingly common. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports its members performed 2.3 million cosmetic surgeries, 13.2 million cosmetic minimally invasive procedures and 6.8 million reconstructive surgeries in 2020. Each procedure is different, and plastic surgery recovery time depends on a wide range of factors.

So, just how long does it take to recover from plastic surgery? We'll answer that question and review the various details that can influence your recovery.

recovery from plastic surgery

Table of Contents

Factors Affecting Recovery From Plastic Surgery

The type of procedure is the predominant consideration in your recovery from plastic surgery. More extensive procedures usually require a longer plastic surgery recovery time. Other factors include a patient's:

  • Age — Younger patients generally recover quicker than older patients.
  • Health — Patients in good physical health typically have shorter recovery times than those who are less healthy.
  • Lifestyle — People with healthy lifestyles, including good nutrition and regular exercise, usually experience shorter recovery times than people with unhealthy lifestyles.

How closely you adhere to your surgery aftercare instructions day by day also affects your downtime. Following your doctor's orders and attending follow-up visits can help minimize your recovery process.

Plastic Surgery Recovery Times By Procedure

Plastic surgery isn't a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Each body contouring procedure requires a different plastic surgery recovery time. In all cases, swelling is normal, and pain medications can help you manage discomfort. Here's what you can expect based on your chosen surgery:

Plastic Surgery Recovery Times


After a rhinoplasty, you'll need to wear a recovery splint for five or six days. The first week also will involve significant bruising. Once the splint is removed, your rhinoplasty recovery time is complete, and you can return to work. Some results will be apparent immediately, and your appearance will continue to improve over the next few months as your nose heals.

Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation recovery time can be relatively quick. If you don't have a strenuous job, you should be able to return to work within three days after your breast surgery. You can start exercising after a week, but heavy lifting isn't allowed for about a month, so you may have to remain out of work longer depending on your job. Bruising will subside in around two weeks. You can expect to see the final results of your surgery within two months.


As part of your facelift recovery time, you can expect to return to work within 10 days.  The swelling will take much longer to disappear completely, but you can expect to look very good at six weeks and great at three months.

Neck Lift

A neck lift generally requires 10 days off from work. The recovery process is similar to a facelift's.

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

If your tummy tuck includes muscle tightening, 10 days off work comprises the usual abdominoplasty recovery time. However, you may have to take two weeks off if your job requires manual labor. You typically can resume full exercises after six weeks. It normally takes six months for the final results to be visible.


As part of your labiaplasty recovery time, you can expect to take three to four days off work. Most patients can resume using tampons and having intercourse after six weeks.

Brazilian Butt Lift

Your Brazilian butt lift recovery time will typically require seven days off from work. You'll need to avoid putting pressure or sleeping on your buttocks for three weeks. Final results are usually visible within four months.

Trust Your Plastic Surgery to Dr. Adam Basner

Now that we've answered the question, "How long does it take to recover from plastic surgery?" you're ready for the next step. Dr. Basner will work with you to ensure the shortest recovery from plastic surgery possible. Recognized as a Top Doctor by Baltimore Magazine and Newsweek, he is the board-certified Chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery at Sinai Hospital. Call 410-616-3000 today to schedule a consultation.

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