woman about to go into surgery

What Plastic Surgery Procedures Have The Shortest Recovery Times?

These days, many of our lives are busy and hectic. So when we look for ways to improve our homes, our lives, and ourselves, we often look for solutions that take the least amount of time. This can include improvements to our physical appearances. When considering cosmetic procedures, recovery times are becoming an increasingly important factor as no one wants to sacrifice time at work, time spent pursuing hobbies, or time with family and friends.

There are great variations in recovery times from one treatment to another. Depending on what plastic surgery procedure you have, you can usually find one that will meet your self-improvement needs the most with the least amount of time it takes to fully recover. So if you’re not too busy, read on!

In-office Facelift

A facelift is an outpatient procedure performed in-office that uses local anesthesia and in some cases intravenous sedation. This eliminates the need to go completely under for your work to be performed. Minimal bruising is involved, but in many cases, stitches can be removed in about a week.

After an in-office facelift, most patients are able to resume mild activity or continue with work from home in three to four days. Naturally, there’ll be no heavy lifting of objects or strenuous activities for two to three weeks during recovery, but most people can look forward to resuming most of their regular activities after one or two weeks.


Localized, in-office liposuction can be performed under local anesthesia on small areas of the body, so you don’t have to be completely under and fully asleep. Localized liposuction is good for removing small pockets of fat on the abdomen or lateral thighs, as well as on love handles that can appear on the mid-back area.

Recovery time for this type of procedure runs approximately a week, but in many cases, patients can be back doing desk work within three or four days. The primary restriction for an in-office liposuction procedure is that you should not engage in any vigorous activity or heavy lifting for roughly two or three weeks.

Breast Augmentation, Lift, or Reduction

A breast augmentation can be a life-changing procedure to restore a youthful appearance, correct physical abnormalities, or just increase the size of the breasts to help women feel better about themselves. A breast augmentation can help women improve their professional and personal relationships as well as, of course, their confidence.

While this procedure is performed in an operating room, it has a surprisingly short recovery period and is considered to be one of the quickest. But that is only true if you follow your plastic surgeon’s strict guidelines for recovery. That means you won’t be doing anything that puts strain on the breast area—no reaching, stretching, lifting, pulling, or pushing. And anything that may be uncomfortable or painful to your pectoral region is to be put on the ‘don’t you dare’ list!

Within about a week, most patients are able to return to light activity, and more strenuous activity in about three weeks post-surgery. You’ll get the go-ahead from your surgeon when it’s appropriate to resume your normal life.


Also known as arm lift surgery, Brachioplasty is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the upper arm region. It’s a procedure that can be performed on its own or in combination with liposuction. After weight loss surgery or simply as a symptom of aging, a large amount of skin can droop from the upper arms, or what some people call “bat-wings”.

The arm lift procedure reduces excess sagging skin and localized fat pockets. It also tightens and smooths underlying supportive tissue. Brachioplasty is another procedure that can be performed under general anesthesia.

There are two variants to the procedure: a modified version and a full version. In the modified version, there’s less time spent recovering due to the fact that it removes less skin and fat. The full version involves more extensive fat and skin removal. Each version is intended to make the arms appear trim, firm, and smooth. Not everyone is a candidate for the modified procedure, but if you undergo this version, returning to work and most of your regular activities could occur within a week.

Eyelid Surgery (blepharoplasty)

Cosmetic eyelid surgery is a procedure that corrects drooping upper eyelids and puffy bags under the eyes by removing excess fat, skin, and muscle from the area. In some cases, eyelid surgery corrects overhanging upper lids that obscure vision. The result of cosmetic eyelid surgery is a more youthful and well-rested appearance without a change in the shape or expression of the eyes.

Cosmetic eyelid surgery is generally performed as an outpatient procedure and can take between one and two hours. It can be combined with other procedures such as a brow lift and/or facelift, in which case the total procedure time is increased. The first one to two hours after eyelid surgery are spent in the recovery room where cold compresses are applied to minimize swelling.

In most cases, any bruising is minimal and resolves after the first week. Stitches are removed between five and seven days after surgery, at which point you can resume wearing makeup and using contact lenses. Most patients can return to work and social activities after one week, and resume strenuous physical exercise within two or three weeks.

Whatever You Do, Don’t Rush Your Recovery!

Whether it’s a cold or major surgery, we always want to hurry up and get back to life as we know it. We’re quick to feel the pressure: the gym, the office, and the rhythm of daily life calling our names. But what’s most important is healing properly, so don’t forget to give your body the time and care it needs and deserves. Just slow down a bit!

Whatever your job involves, whatever exercise regimen you follow, and whatever fast lane you operate in, depending on the procedure you’ve had, your body is almost certainly going to respond to the surgery with some after-effects. Your plastic surgeon’s care instructions will be the holy grail to get you through your recovery smoothly and with minimal complications. That’s why it’s called a healing process!

Give Aristocrat a call to set up a private consultation with board-certified New York plastic surgeon, Dr. Kevin Tehrani, who can answer any questions you may have about our procedures and their recovery times.

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