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How Soon after Plastic Surgery Can I Return to Work?

By Sheryl Pilcher on December 20, 2016

A woman resting in bedMany patients wonder when they will be able to return to work after undergoing plastic surgery. The timeline in which each patient will be recovered enough to return to work depends on a number of factors, such as personal healing times and the number and type of procedure performed. Some body contouring treatments can help create a sculpted appearance with minimal down time while more invasive contouring treatments may require several weeks for recovery.

Dr. Sheryl Pilcher advises patients about returning to work after plastic surgery during consultations at her San Antonio, TX practice. To learn more about when you may be able to return to work after plastic surgery, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Pilcher.

Recovery Timeline

The amount of time needed to recover after plastic surgery greatly depends on the type of surgery performed as well as the number of procedures performed at one time. Some plastic surgery treatments are minimally invasive and have a fast recovery time, while others may require several weeks before activity can resume. Personal healing times can also affect the length of time needed to recover before returning to work.

Regardless of the procedure performed, patients will require time to recover and may need help caring for themselves for a few days after surgery. Most patients will also feel some pain or discomfort around the areas of treatment during the initial recovery period and may even experience some swelling and bruising, making it difficult to work. Refraining from work or strenuous activity during this time will help with recovery and promote healing.

Popular Plastic Surgery Treatments and Returning to Work

Depending on the surgery, patients may be ready to return to work within a few days or several weeks but should refrain from strenuous activity, including exercise and heavy lifting, until approved by their surgeon. The following is a general timeline for returning to work. Speak to your surgeon for a personalized timeframe.

  • Facelift surgery: Patients who undergo a traditional facelift are often recovered enough to return to work after 10 days to two weeks, whereas those who have had a mini facelift are generally ready to return to work after two or three days. 
  • Eyelid surgery: Full recovery after eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, can take several weeks, but most are recovered enough to return to work after 10 days to two weeks.
  • Liposuction: Liposuction performed alone generally has a quick recovery time and many patients will be ready to return to work within five to seven days after treatment.
  • Abdominoplasty: Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck surgery, is rather invasive and requires a lengthy recovery. Some patients may be able to return to a desk job a week after drainage tubes are removed, which generally occurs around one to two weeks after surgery. Those that work in fields that require lifting, pulling, pushing, or other strenuous activity will not be able to resume work for about six weeks after surgery.
  • Breast augmentation: Many patients will be recovered enough to return to work about a week after breast augmentation surgery provided their job does not require lifting, bending, or other strenuous or demanding activities. Those with physically demanding jobs generally need to wait about six weeks before returning to work.

Schedule a Consultation

For detailed information about when you may be able to return to work after plastic surgery, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Pilcher.

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If you need breast augmentation or any cosmetic surgery, I would highly recommend Dr. Pilcher....This has been the best decision I have made. Quintessa M.

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San Antonio Office

255 E Sonterra Blvd
Ste 201
San Antonio, TX 78258

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San Antonio Office

255 E Sonterra Blvd
Ste 201
San Antonio, TX 78258

More Info Directions (210) 654-9900