What Can I Expect During my Post-Surgery Recovery?

Make Sure There Are No Surprises After Your Plastic Surgery

A proper recovery from your plastic surgery is an essential part of ensuring your personal safety and optimizing your aesthetic outcomes. We want you to have the best surgical experience possible here at Advanced Body Sculpting Institute (ABS) in Denver. 

For updates and information on all that we have to offer, check out the ABS blog. We are a beloved hub of conversation and insight on all things cosmetic for our Colorado community.   


post surgery recovery

At Advanced Body Sculpting Institute, we frequently inform all of our patients of what they can expect during their recovery. But, for people who may be considering aesthetic enhancement, it is impossible to overstate the importance of a smooth and healthy recovery process to the success of the overall procedure. 

When the patient is informed of and prepared for all that is likely to happen after they leave the operating room, they are better equipped to have a recovery free from complications. And, a smoother recovery means more stunning results!

Advanced Body Sculpting Institute is Denver’s leading purveyor of premium aesthetic services. We want your recovery from plastic surgery to be as rewarding as possible. Call (303) 708-8770 and contact us to schedule your confidential consultation.

Tips for a Quick Recovery 

Our expert medical team at ABS will know you and your specific needs best, so please do follow our individualized instructions for a safe and successful surgery. Below, we have listed some general items to bear in mind before you consider booking your trip to the operating room. 

Recovery from Anesthesia 

Recovering from anesthesia will be one of your first post-operative challenges. Anesthesia protects our patients from pain and complications during their procedure. Immediately after their surgery, however, it may take some time for the body to completely process the anesthetics. Muscle aches, a sore throat, nausea and constipation can also occur, depending on your body’s reaction. It is common to feel drowsy and “out of it” after being roused from your surgical slumber. Constipation is one of the more common effects and can last for several days.[1]  The duration and severity of this part of your recovery will depend on whether your procedure was performed under general anesthesia or a local. 

Do Not Forget to Move 

Regular movement will greatly aid in the healing process after your plastic surgery. Certainly, bedrest and downtime will compose the majority of your recovery time, especially at first. But a regular, reasonable movement routine helps prevent clots and can help you heal faster.

Other Side Effects 

There are a whole host of other items to be aware of on your road to recovery. Some of these side effects may be specific to your particular procedure. Be sure that you have received and understand everything our ABS team has told you about what to expect. You should contact your doctor if you experience any unexpected changes in appetite, sleep patterns, feelings of depression or muscle pain.

Your Confidential Consultation at Advanced Body Sculpting

Our team of competent and compassionate doctors at Advanced Body Sculpting Institute want all of our patients to be well-informed. The patient education process begins at your confidential consultation. 

Your consultation shall include a brief physical exam and intake interview. Your coordinator will gladly field any questions you may have. We educate every one of our patients on the particulars of their procedure. 

Our past patient’s positive reviews show their high level of satisfaction even after their procedure is long over. Contact us to learn more about how to safely and effectively navigate your recovery from surgery. Call (303) 708-8770 to get the conversation started. 


Swelling is a common occurrence after any surgical procedure. Swelling is caused when the cells release chemicals that affect the absorbency of blood vessels in the surgical area.[2] This increase in permeability allows fluids, white blood cells and other chemicals to flood the areas to start the healing process. Most swelling will begin to subside after a week. By two weeks post-op, you should see about a 75% reduction. Six weeks after surgery you should see a 90% reduction in swelling.


Many kinds of plastic surgery will require you to be sent home with a drain in your treatment area.[3] If this is the case, be sure to properly protect your drain to avoid further injury. Make sure it doesn’t dangle in a way that it can be easily snagged on something. Avoid fully submerging yourself in a tub or swimming pool when you have a drain in place. Take the time to regularly inspect the area around the drain for signs of infection.


Post-operative constipation isn’t something that a lot of people like to talk about—you can hardly blame them. It is still important to keep any potential disruptions of digestion at the top of your mind. Constipation is most commonly caused by surgical anesthesia. Narcotic pain relievers can lead to a sluggish bowel.[3] To avoid or mitigate any difficulties in the restroom, be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Under your doctor’s guidance, you may also consider taking a stool softener to ease bowel movements. 

Recovery Timeline 

post surgery recovery

Your precise recovery timeline will depend on a multitude of individual factors. The exact type of plastic surgery that you had will radically affect the duration of your rehab. The patient’s age and health history are also important factors. Below, we detail the broad strokes of your recovery journey. For a more exact account, be sure to ask plenty of questions during your confidential consultation at ABS. 

One Day After Surgery

Liposuction and our procedures at Advanced Body Sculpting Institute are performed on an outpatient basis. That means our patients often return home the same day as their surgery. For your safety, you will need a responsible adult to drive you home and to stay with you for 24 hours after many of our more involved procedures, like an abdominoplasty. As you will likely still be under the influence of anesthesia when we release you, avoid drinking alcohol during your first day of recovery. Also, do not drive or operate any heavy machinery. And please, refrain from making any important decisions until you have completely recovered your wits after a day or two of rest.  

One Week After Surgery

After a week of recovery, most post-op patients have regained a significant portion of their mobility. Depending on the intensity of the operation and the type of work that the patient does, many people may return to a limited work schedule at this time.  

One Month After Surgery

After a full four weeks of recovery, many patients can be cleared to participate in more physical activities. The patient him or herself is the best indicator of their progress. If you feel that you are not ready for a particular activity after surgery, we urge you to heed your body’s own warnings. The mantra is, “If it doesn’t feel right, maybe give it a few more days.”

Six Months After Surgery

Now is the time when most patients have put most of their recoveries behind them. After six months of a carefully monitored healing process that is free of complications, your procedure’s ravishing results should become quite visible. However, please continue to follow your surgeon’s instructions, even though you’re excited to rejoin the world and show them your new look. Some involved procedures can take many months to fully recover from. So, you should continue to practice caution, even if you feel better than your old self again. 

Ravishing Results

Recovery from plastic surgery is never easy. But, at ABS, it is our goal to make the process as easy to endure as possible. An important thing to remember is that your momentary discomfort serves a grander purpose. Your post-operative recovery will be your final stop before achieving your aesthetic goals. So, do not try to rush the healing process. Follow your doctor’s directions and take your recovery at a pace that makes the most sense for you. When you are completely healed, you will finally be free to enjoy your transformation with your friends and family.  


How do I avoid constipation after surgery?

To avoid constipation after surgery, be sure to stay hydrated. Some people may find that prune juice or a fiber supplement can help to “wake up” sleepy bowels that are still sluggish from anesthesia. Your doctor may also recommend a stool softener. 


  1. Ljungqvist, O., Scott, M., & Fearon, K. C. (2017). Enhanced Recovery After Surgery. JAMA Surgery, 152(3), 292. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamasurg.2016.4952 
  2. ‌Harris, L., & Darby, P. (2020). Enhanced Recovery after Abdominoplasty Using Perisurgical Nutritional Supplementation. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – Global Open, 8(12), e3314. https://doi.org/10.1097/gox.0000000000003314 
  3. Wang, G., Cao, W.-G., & Zhao, T.-L. (2018). Fluid management in extensive liposuction. Medicine, 97(41), e12655. https://doi.org/10.1097/md.0000000000012655 
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