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What can I do after cosmetic surgery?

Jogging girl

You may wonder what activities are appropriate following cosmetic surgery. Can you exercise? Go to work? Pick up your toddler?

Like any surgery, you must give your body time to heal after cosmetic surgery, especially if you’ve had an invasive procedure like a tummy tuck, breast augmentation or skin lift. And while it would be nice, there’s no magic pill that can speed healing. You’ll simply have to wait until the swelling subsides and incisions begin to heal before you can return to your pre-surgical routine.

That said, there are plenty of things you can do after surgery. Here are some ideas.

Give yourself time to heal

You will need to take some time off work following your procedure. The length of time will be determined by the procedure you have and the type of work you do. If your job is particularly strenuous, you may need to plan for more time off. And it’s a good idea to plan for longer than you think you’ll need in case your body requires longer to heal than the average patient.

In general, most patients can follow these guidelines:

  • Breast augmentation: 1 week
  • Breast lift: 1 week
  • Breast reduction: 1 week
  • Arm lift: 1 week
  • Liposuction: 1 week
  • Male breast reduction: 1 week
  • Tummy tuck: 2 + weeks
  • Mommy Makeover: 2 + weeks
  • Body lift: 2 + weeks
  • Brow lift: 1-2 weeks
  • Facelift: 2 weeks
  • Eyelid surgery: 1 + weeks

Social downtime may also be of concern to you, especially if you’ve had a procedure on your face that causes bruising, swelling or discoloration. If you bruise easy or don’t want anyone to know you’ve had a procedure done, you may need to plan for longer.

Eat a healthy diet

Eating a balanced diet that includes lots of nutrient-rich foods will help your body heal faster. Amino acids found in chicken, lean meats, egg whites, fish, brown rice, walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds can help your body heal. Vitamin C and zinc also promote healing. Get vitamin C from strawberries, citrus fruits and papaya; oysters are good sources of zinc or take an over-the-counter supplement.

Start exercising slowly

While you may be anxious to get back to your exercise regimen, you’ll need to take things slow. Don’t do anything strenuous for at least one week after surgery. Then, slowly build up to your normal routine. You should take it very easy for a minimum of a week. Start with leisurely walks and no running or aerobic activity. If you experience fatigue or pain, stop immediately and try again the next day. Be mindful of your heart rate and respirations since these things impact your body’s ability to heal.

You’ll also need to be mindful of the specific procedure you had as some will require longer healing periods before resuming normal activities. For example, if you have a breast procedure, you should avoid using your pectoral muscles extensively until you’re fully healed.

We’ll discuss what you can expect following cosmetic surgery in more detail during your complimentary consultation. Schedule an appointment today so we can answer your questions and address your concerns.