Post-Surgery Care: What to Expect After Plastic Surgery

Updated on November 2, 2023

Plastic surgery can be a life-changing decision, one that can significantly boost your self-confidence and improve your appearance. While the anticipation of the results is exciting, it’s equally essential to be well-prepared for the post-surgery recovery process. In this comprehensive guide collated by a plastic surgeon Melbourne CBD, we’ll explore what to expect after plastic surgery, offering you valuable insights and key recovery guidelines to help you navigate this crucial period.

Immediate Post-Op Care

The hours immediately following your plastic surgery are critical for your recovery.

You’ll find yourself in the recovery room, where medical professionals will closely monitor your vital signs to ensure you are comfortable.

While you may still be groggy from the anesthesia, it’s crucial to follow these initial post-op care steps:

Pain Management

Post-surgery pain or discomfort is quite common. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication to help manage this. Make sure to take your medication exactly as directed to stay ahead of the pain and maintain your comfort.

Effective pain management is crucial for better clinical outcomes, as supported by a study from the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Compression Garments

Depending on the type of procedure, you may be required to wear compression garments.

These garments help minimize swelling and support the healing process. Follow your surgeon’s recommendations regarding when and how long to wear them.

The importance of wearing proper compression garments for a smooth recovery and better final results is highlighted in a study published on NCBI.

Rest and Hydration

Rest is of utmost importance in the initial recovery period. Ensure you stay well-hydrated and follow the dietary guidelines provided by your surgeon or healthcare provider.

Swelling and Bruising

Swelling and bruising are common side effects of plastic surgery. The extent and duration of these symptoms will depend on the type of procedure you had. Here are some tips to manage these post-surgery effects:


Elevating the treated area can help reduce swelling. Use pillows or cushions to keep your head, arms, or legs elevated, as recommended by your surgeon.

Arnica and Ice

Arnica cream or gel, as well as ice packs, can help alleviate bruising and swelling. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions on using these products.

Stitches and Scarring

Stitches and scarring are part and parcel of plastic surgery. Your surgeon will use different techniques to minimize scarring, such as placing incisions in discrete areas. As the healing process progresses:

Keep Incisions Clean

Follow your surgeon’s instructions for keeping incisions clean and dry to prevent infection. Proper care during this time is essential for achieving the best results.

Scar Care

Your surgeon may recommend scar creams or treatments to improve the appearance of scars. These should be used as instructed to promote optimal healing and minimize scarring.

Activity Restrictions

Rest and limited activity are essential aspects of post-surgery care. Your surgeon will provide guidelines for when you can resume regular activities, but in general:

Avoid Strenuous Activity

It’s crucial to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for several weeks following surgery. Overexertion can prolong the healing process and potentially compromise your results.

Gradual Return to Normalcy

Slowly reintroduce light activities, such as walking, as recommended by your surgeon. It’s essential to strike a balance between rest and gentle movement to support your healing without causing any setbacks.

Follow-Up Appointments

Your plastic surgeon will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your progress. These appointments are an opportunity to address any concerns or questions you may have and ensure you are healing as expected. These appointments play a vital role in the overall success of your surgery and recovery.

Emotional Well-Being

Recovery is not just a physical journey; it’s an emotional one as well. It’s common to experience a range of emotions post-surgery, from excitement to anxiety. Lean on your support network, which may include family and friends, and don’t hesitate to consider speaking with a mental health professional if you’re struggling to cope.

Patience Is Key

Perhaps the most crucial aspect of post-surgery care is patience. Recovery takes time, and you may not see the final results immediately. It’s essential to be patient with the process and with yourself, trusting that, with time, you will see the positive changes you were hoping for.

Choose a Trusted Surgeon 

Before embarking on your plastic surgery journey, the most crucial step is selecting a trusted and skilled surgeon. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing your plastic surgeon:


Ensure your surgeon is a registered and qualified plastic surgeon. This certification indicates that they have met rigorous standards of training and expertise.


Look for a surgeon with extensive experience in the specific procedure you’re considering. A surgeon’s experience can significantly impact the quality of your results and your safety.

Reviews and Recommendations

Read reviews and seek recommendations from friends or family who have had similar procedures. Word of mouth can be a valuable resource for finding a reputable surgeon.

Have an Initial Consultation 

Before embarking on your plastic surgery journey, the most crucial step is having an initial consultation with your chosen surgeon. During this meeting, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your goals, ask questions, and ensure that you’re making the right decision. Here’s what you can expect from your initial consultation:

Discussion of Your Goals: You’ll talk to your surgeon about your specific goals and expectations. They will provide insights into what is realistically achievable and recommend the most suitable procedure for you.

Medical History and Examination: Your surgeon will review your medical history and perform a physical examination. This is to ensure that you are in good health and that the chosen procedure is safe for you.

Procedure Explanation: Your surgeon will explain the procedure in detail, including the surgical techniques, potential risks, and expected outcomes. You’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions or voice concerns.

Cost and Financial Information: The cost of the procedure will be discussed, along with any financing options available. Be sure to obtain a clear understanding of the financial aspects of your surgery.

Review Before-and-After Photos: Your surgeon may show you before-and-after photos of their previous patients. This visual reference can help you understand what to expect in terms of results.

Your initial consultation is an important step in building trust and confidence in your surgeon and ensuring that plastic surgery is the right choice for you. Take your time to make an informed decision before moving forward with your procedure.

Be Informed On Your Plastic Surgery Journey 

Post-surgery care is a vital aspect of your plastic surgery journey.

Knowing what to expect and following the guidelines provided by your surgeon can make the recovery process more manageable and ensure the best possible results.

Remember that you’re not alone; your surgeon and their team are there to support you on your path to a more confident, beautiful you.

Embrace the recovery process, and soon you’ll reap the rewards of your decision to undergo plastic surgery.

Your journey to self-improvement and renewed confidence is well worth the effort.