Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery Recovery Tips

This page contains general Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Recovery tips and information in relation to having Plastic surgery. However, please note that it is general in nature and does NOT constitute medical advice.

Be sure you follow the recommended post-operative instructions provided directly from your Surgeon and also contact your Surgeon or the Coco Ruby team with any questions or concerns.

Plastic Surgery Recovery Tips and Resources for patients

Follow Your Surgeon’s Specific Post Op Instructions

Your surgeon will provide specific post-operative instructions tailored to your procedure. It is crucial to follow these instructions closely, including guidelines for wound care, medication management, and activity restrictions.

  • Use the items provided in your RECOVERY PACK to help you heal.
  • Remember that both surgery RECOVERY time frames and experiences will VARY from person to person.
  • RISKS or COMPLICATIONS could delay your normal surgery recovery time estimates, so be patient.


Proper rest is essential for healing. Plan to take time off work or other responsibilities to allow your body to recover. Follow your surgeon’s recommendations regarding rest and sleep positions.

  • Rest adequately but follow your surgeon’s advice on movement.
  • Gentle movement helps prevent complications that arise from being too sedentary for long periods.
  • Follow post-op exercise time frames (exercising heavily too soon can harm you or increase your scar formation).

Best Recovery Tips

Review the Surgery Procedure Guide book and other materials from your Surgeon before and after you have surgery.

Manage Pain and Discomfort

It is normal to experience pain and discomfort after plastic surgery. Take pain medications as prescribed by your surgeon to help manage the pain. Avoid taking any additional medications without consulting your surgeon

Maintain proper wound care

Care for your incisions or wounds according to your surgeon’s instructions. Keep the area clean and dry, and follow any dressing or bandage changes as recommended. Report any signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, or drainage, to your surgeon.

Attend follow up appointments

Attend your scheduled follow-up appointments with your surgeon. These appointments are important for monitoring your progress, removing sutures if needed, and addressing any concerns or questions you may have.

Stay Hydrated and Eat a Nutritious Diet

Proper nutrition and hydration support the healing process. Drink plenty of water and consume a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein. Avoid foods and beverages that may interfere with healing, such as alcohol and tobacco.

Maintain Proper Wound Care/Practice Scar Care


Care for your incisions or wounds according to your surgeon’s instructions. Keep the area clean and dry, and follow any dressing or bandage changes as recommended. Report any signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, or drainage, to your surgeon.


Follow your surgeon’s instructions for scar care. This may include applying scar creams or ointments and avoiding excessive sun exposure to the incision sites.

Seek Emotional Support

Take good care of your emotional well-being after having cosmetic surgery. Undergoing plastic surgery can involve emotional challenges. Surround yourself with a support system of family and friends who can provide encouragement and understanding during your recovery.

Be Patient and Realistic

Remember that the full results of your plastic surgery may take time to become apparent. Be patient with the healing process and have realistic expectations. Trust your surgeon’s expertise and guidance throughout the recovery journey.

FAQ’s about Recovery after Plastic Surgery

How many nights should I spend in Hospital?

Your stay in the hospital depends on how quickly you can recover which varies from patient to patient.

  • Breast augmentation patients
    • We recommend an overnight stay in hospital for safety reasons
  • Breast reduction patients
    • we advise a 1 to 2-night stay.
  • Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) or combined/bigger surgery patients
    • We advise a 2 to 3 nights

At the time of your consultation, your surgeon will discuss the length of your hospital stay and explain why a longer stay may be required for certain procedures or patients.

How much time off work will I need?

Each patient is different so your time off work will vary depending on your speed of recovery, level of bruising and pain as well as the type of work that you do.

Smokers and obese patients generally take longer to recover and have a poorer final result.

  • Breast augmentation patients
    • We recommend 1-2 weeks off work.
  • Breast reduction
    • We suggest 1-2 weeks off work.
  • Abdominoplasty or major body surgery
    • Around 3-4 weeks off work.
    • Longer if your tummy muscles have split due to pregnancy or obesity.
  • Nose and facial surgeries
    • Depending on your swelling and bruising, your “social downtime” can be around 2-3 weeks.

Your time off work really depends on the activity level in the type of work you do – for breast surgeries this can be 2 weeks for an office/desk job, 3 weeks for an ‘on your feet’ shop job or 4+ weeks for an active job.

It is often up to you to decide when you are ready to return to work.

General Guidelines for returning to work after plastic surgery

  • We advise that you do NOT drive or operate heavy equipment for a minimum of one week after having surgery with a general Anaesthetic; ask your Surgeon for specifics in relation to your procedure.
  • There is always a small risk of having a surgical complication and your return to work being delayed.
  • We can provide a confidential Medical Certificate for time off work.

When can I start exercising after Cosmetic Plastic Surgery?

This varies from patient to patient and surgery to surgery. Don’t try to do too much too soon.

We encourage leisurely walking and light duties following your procedure. At the time of your consultation, we will discuss the type of exercise that you would like to do and how soon you can return to the activity.

For fitness enthusiasts, this may mean 10-12 weeks before heavy gym exercise like weights, bouncing or running, sometimes longer.

FAQ - Dr Patrick Briggs Melbourne top plastic surgeon

More Recovery Information on Different Plastic Surgery Procedures

Dr Patrick Briggs Melbourne

Dr Patrick Briggs FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) is a Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon.

Both he and his team are dedicated to patient care and are committed to treating each and every patient with respect and privacy.

Furthermore, he is experienced in BreastBody and Face Surgery having performed over 4500 Surgeries in private practice.

How can we help?

Dr Briggs’ Patient Coordinators take pleasure in assisting you with any questions when considering a plastic surgery procedure. Please call the Hawthorn East clinic in Melbourne between 9 AM – 5 PM on Weekdays.

Phone (03) 8849 1400 Or Email us.

What Next?

Want more information about your Procedure?

  • For more information about pricing and payment methods, please visit our page on Surgery Payment options.
  • Talk to our Patient Care Team from 8 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday on (03) 8849 1400.

What to Bring to Your Consultation

  • If you like, please bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
  • Take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents your surgeon provides.
  • You may need to undress so it’s a good idea to wear simple clothes.

How to Book a Consultation

  • Dr Briggs’ Consultation fee is $300.
  • A referral from your GP or your specialist is essential (as of the 1st July 2023).
  • Please contact the Patient Care Team at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery to book your consultation.


The information provided in this article is for educational and informational proposes. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article. The author and publisher of this article make no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, or completeness of the content of this article. The information contained in this article is strictly at your own risk.