Dr Magnusson discusses recovery times after surgery

Dr Magnusson discusses recovery times after surgery

BY Dr Mark Magnusson

One of the most frequent enquiries from people considering non-surgical or surgical treatments is “how quickly will I recover”.

This is an especially important question as many people consider undertaking treatments prior to a specific event. Events such as weddings, reunions or holidays are frequent examples.

As a guide the following durations will cover most people.


Skin treatments, such as Medi-facials using medical-grade products need no downtime.

Peels use a more concentrated product which gives more dramatic results and downtime varies from 3 days to 10 days, depending on the strength of the peel.

Injectables may be accompanied by small bruises that take 7 days to settle that can usually be masked by a good concealer.  Bruising may be minimised by restricting Omega-3 and some other products prior to treatment. Injectables can take 2-4 days to begin to show results, with peak results achieved at 10-14 days.  Dermal fillers can be accompanied by minor swelling for about 2 weeks before settling, particularly in the lips.


All operations involve a procedure followed by a recovery period of altered activity levels to aid uneventful healing.  Anyone considering undertaking surgery will need to allow enough time to ensure the healing process is smooth. Bruising, discomfort, swelling and scarring accompany all operations. These will settle at different rates in different areas, for different people and each person will accept a different level of visual recovery before socialising.

Facial surgery, such as eyelids and facelift, can have bruising for up to 14 days, feel presentable at 2-3 weeks, and social at 6 weeks.

Anyone undergoing breast enlargement will need to allow 2 weeks after surgery with minimal exertion and all restrictions are lifted after 6 weeks.

Procedures such as liposuction will have some bruising up to 3 weeks, with a full return at 6 weeks, whilst abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) or breast reduction allow a return to most activities without exertion within 3 weeks, and full recovery at 3 months.

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