Returning to Work After Plastic Surgery By Oren Zvi Lerman, M.D. on May 09, 2017

A woman resting in bedWhen it comes to proper healing and a full recovery that is free from complications, rest is a key part of the process. In addition to getting bed rest after surgery and avoiding strenuous physical activities, patients need to make sure to avoid work for a little bit to avoid serious complications and side effects. A little bit of time off could mean the difference between excellent body contouring surgery results and serious issues with healing and wellness.

The team at our Manhattan cosmetic and reconstructive surgery center would like to consider some basics when it comes to time off from work after surgery.

How Much Time Should I Take Off from Work?

This can vary depending on the type of surgery you underwent and the recommendations of your plastic surgeon. In general, consider the timelines below a general guide for time off from work:

  • One Week Off from Work for Breast Enhance Surgery – After getting breast implants or undergoing breast lift or reduction surgery, most patients will only need about one week off from work. The patient will notice bruising and swelling around their breasts when they return to work, but this will be completely concealed from view by the surgical bra, undergarments, and normal work attire.

  • One Week Off from Work for Liposuction and Certain Lifts – Liposuction, arm lift, and thigh lift surgery patients also need about one week off from work despite bruising and swelling. In general, regular attire at work will conceal all of the bruising and swelling from view.

  • Two Weeks Off from Work for Facial Plastic Surgery – Since bruising and swelling will be quite apparent for up to two weeks after a surgery, it's a good idea for people who undergo facial rejuvenation procedures to take about two weeks off from work. This covers facelift, rhinoplasty (nose job), eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), and so on.

  • At Least Three Weeks Off from Work for Major Body Contouring – Major body lift and contouring procedures will require additional time to heal properly. It's not uncommon for someone to miss work for three weeks to four weeks after these kinds of involved surgeries.

Extra Time May Be Needed Depending on Your Job

We should note that the above is for most office jobs and simple lines of work. If you work in construction, athletics, manual labor, emergency response, or another field that is physically demanding, you may need to take additional time off to ensure you're properly healed and can resume normal activities.

Additional time off may also be recommended for people who work in modeling or other sorts of professions in which physical appearance is part of the job. Fully healing will ensure that there is no visible swelling, scarring, or skin discoloration.

Take Things Slowly When Returning to Work

As you return to your job, be sure to take things slowly and conservatively. Don't push yourself or strain yourself in those first days and weeks back. It's better to be cautious and to take things slow rather than aggravate incision sites and potentially trigger a serious complication.

Learn More About Plastic Surgery Options

If you are interested in plastic surgery and would like to learn more about the recovery process, be sure to contact our cosmetic skin care and enhancement center today. We're here to help you make smart choices about anti-aging and wrinkle reduction options.

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Dr. Oren Lerman

Oren Z. Lerman, MD

Dr. Oren Lerman performs a variety of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures with a specialty in reconstructive breast surgery. In fact, he is the director of breast reconstruction at Lenox Hill Hospital's Institute for Comprehensive Breast Care as well as the Microvascular and Cosmetic Breast Fellowship. In addition to the hospital, Dr. Lerman is affiliated with:

  • The New York Regional Society of Plastic Surgeons (Past President)
  • The American Board of Plastic Surgery (Diplomate)
  • The American College of Surgeons (Fellow)
  • The American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • The American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery

You can schedule a consultation with Dr. Lerman by filling out our online form or calling (212) 434-6980.

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"The one thing that is most important when we're doing cosmetic surgery and aesthetic surgery of the face or the body is to make sure that the patient is happy afterwards..." Dr. Oren Lerman

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