<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id={your-pixel-id-goes-here}&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
When to Return to Work and Daily Activities After Cosmetic Surgery

When to Return to Work and Daily Activities After Cosmetic Surgery

By Beverly Fischer on July 11, 2023

General Back to Blog

image1-Jul-05-2023-03-39-24-7177-PMIt’s exciting to think about an upcoming cosmetic surgery procedure. You’ll be able to try out your new look and finally be rid of something that’s probably bothered you for some time. As you think ahead, it’s also important to plan ahead. Cosmetic surgery, while less invasive than some other types of general surgery, can still require a bit of downtime. If you need to take off from work or plan ahead for childcare or other activities, then it makes sense to consider the various recommended time frames for surgical recovery for some of the more popular procedures, so you know when you can return to work and your daily activities. 


Typical Recovery Timelines 

Here, we’ve listed what surgical recovery timelines you can expect for some of the most common procedures. Since each person responds to surgery differently, their recovery period may be longer or shorter. As a rule of thumb, you’ll usually need a little help the first two days, especially if you have younger children. After that, it should be relatively easy to take care of yourself. This list gives you a ballpark of when you might be able to go back to work and resume your daily activities, depending on your procedure. 

Related: Mommy Makeover Recovery: Tips and Tricks 

  1. Eyelid Surgery (Bleph): Blepharoplasty is relatively simple and does not require much downtime. Patients will need to rest their eyes for the first day and, by the second, are usually fine to operate independently. We recommend using sunglasses to protect your eyes, and by the third and fourth days, you’ll probably feel comfortable going out in public. You can head back to work within several days after surgery, depending on how you are feeling, and makeup will help camouflage any blemishes or bruising. 
  2. Facelift Surgery: As with bleph, patients recover relatively quickly from facelifts. They can usually handle their own care by day two and can return to the public sphere by the fifth day to a week’s time. Return to work will always depend on the patient and how they are feeling days after surgery. 
  3. Breast Surgery: Surprising to many, breast surgery has a very quick recovery period. Usually, by the evening after surgery or the next day, patients are able to move around normally — and by day two are completely independent. We recommend you return to work as you feel fit and as long as work requirements do not entail lifting more than fifteen pounds. Lower body workout is fine (walking, stationary bike, leg weights).
  4. Liposuction: This procedure is also easier than you might expect. By day two, most patients who have received liposuction are operating independently and can even do so earlier if they didn’t have a large number of areas treated. We recommend you return to work as you feel fit to do so. 
  5. Abdominoplasty: Also known as a tummy tuck, abdominoplasty involves repairing the diastasis muscles, so the recovery time can be a bit longer. It often takes patients two to four days to be able to take care of themselves. By days five to seven, they can return to their job if it is not strenuous; if it is, they’ll need to wait approximately ten to fourteen days or longer. This is very similar to a C-section recovery period. 

What About Exercise? 

Are you itching to exercise? Although work may feel like exercise, our recommendations are a bit different here. Based on the procedure you have, we suggest a variety of strategies. For all procedures, it’s good to implement a slow walking routine on the second day after the surgery. However, we disallow aerobic and more rigorous exercises until after two weeks have passed since they can cause bleeding, bruising, and swelling. At the six-week mark, usually after a post-op consultation, we approve more intensive sports, like weightlifting and contact sports. 

Each surgical procedure has different exercise protocols post-surgery.

Want to Know More? 

For the changes that you’re making with cosmetic surgery, the recovery periods are relatively quick. These changes will last far longer than the time it takes to heal, and they are worth the wait. If you want to know about a procedure we didn’t mention here or what we’d recommend for your specific circumstances, give us a call. We love talking with prospective patients about their plans to see how we can make them happen—and make you happy! Dr. Beverly Fischer and her team have performed countless surgical cosmetic procedures over the 20-plus years she’s been practicing, and she looks forward to helping you optimize your results—and your recovery. 


Advanced Center for Plastic Surgery | (410) 308-4700 | Website | More posts

Dr. Beverly A. Fischer is passionate about her role as a leading female plastic and cosmetic surgeon in Baltimore, Maryland and beyond. She believes that plastic surgery makes a positive, life-changing difference, whether you’re renewing your body, face, and skin or embarking on an entire gender transition.

Reach out

We are happy to answer any questions you have. Use the form to request a consultation or more information about specific services. A member of our team will will contact you shortly.

Contact Us