Recovery after Cosmetic Surgery

Recovery After Cosmetic Surgery – Healing After Breast and Abdominoplasty Surgery with Dr Craig

Dr Craig Rubinstein shares his instructions for your recovery after cosmetic surgery.  Reading all the provided materials will help you understand how to get a desired result & what to expect from a normal recovery.

Healing and Recovery After Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

Understanding what to expect during the recovery period is crucial for a healing process after plastic surgery:

  • Be Patient and Flexible
    • Remember that every individual heals at their own pace.
    • It is essential to have realistic expectations and not compare your recovery to others.
    • Allow yourself time to heal and be patient with the progress.
  • Rest and Adequate Sleep
    • Getting enough rest is crucial for your body’s healing process.
    • Take the time to relax and prioritise sleep.
    • While quality sleep may be initially challenging, it will gradually improve over time.
  • Monitor Nutrition and Hydration
    • Proper nutrition plays a vital role in the healing process.
    • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
    • Avoid skipping meals and ensure you are nourishing your body with essential nutrients.
  • Create a Healing Environment
    • Make your recovery space comfortable and peaceful.
    • Create a soothing atmosphere that promotes relaxation and healing.
    • Consider using soft lighting, comfortable bedding, and calming scents to enhance your environment.
  • Emotional Support
    • Surround yourself with a supportive network of family and friends who can provide emotional support during your recovery.
    • Avoid negative or unsupportive individuals who may hinder your healing process.
  • Seek Professional Guidance
    • Don’t hesitate to reach out to your plastic surgeon or their team if you have any questions or concerns about your healing process.
    • They are there to assist you and provide reassurance throughout your recovery.

Remember that each person’s recovery is unique, and it is important to follow your surgeon’s postoperative instructions. By taking care of yourself physically and emotionally, you can support your body’s healing process and have a positive recovery experience.

Managing Your Surgery Risks During Recovery and Knowing When to Call Your Surgeon

It is crucial to have an awareness of the risks associated with your surgery. Making the decision to undergo surgery is personal and requires careful consideration. Pay close attention to your body during the recovery process and be vigilant for any symptoms that may deviate from what is considered normal.

Your surgeon and nurse coordinator will guide you through the risks and potential complications specific to your surgery. They will also provide you with a list of warning signs to watch out for and instructions on how to care for your incisions as they heal.

During your consultation, you will be asked to sign a consent form, indicating your understanding of the procedure, its associated risks, and potential complications. It is essential to thoroughly read and comprehend the provided information and ask any questions you may have before your surgery.

If you experience any concerning symptoms, unusual sensations, or other issues as advised, make sure to inform your surgeon promptly. If it is outside of clinic hours and you are feeling unwell, you can contact the after-hours number provided to you. The medical team will address your questions and concerns. Never hesitate to reach out to your surgeon or their nursing team if you have any concerns.

In the event of an emergency, seek urgent medical attention or visit the emergency room as necessary. Although rare, it is important to be prepared and aware of what to expect.

To ensure a better result and understand what is normal during your recovery, it is highly recommended to read all the materials provided by Dr Craig Rubinstein. Following his tips and instructions for postoperative care will support your recovery process.

Tips for Recovery Processes After Plastic or Cosmetic Surgery

Patients often express a desire to expedite their recovery after undergoing procedures like breast surgery or abdominoplasty. Recovery time and the healing process are important considerations when scheduling a surgery date. While we understand the eagerness to resume daily routines, we believe in providing suggestions that prioritise both a comfortable recovery and optimal results.

While our suggestions aim to facilitate a quicker recovery, it is essential to recognise the importance of allowing yourself sufficient time to heal. In some cases, complications may arise, requiring additional healing time beyond initial expectations.

Recovery Times

Recovery times vary significantly from patient to patient and depend on the specific procedure performed. However, there are several actions patients can take before and after surgery to support their recovery and scar-healing process. By following these simple suggestions, you may experience a smoother and more comfortable journey through the recovery stage.

Compression garments

For breast surgery patients, when applicable, it is advised to wear the post-surgery bra or compression garments provided to you. It is crucial to wear them day and night for the recommended duration as instructed by your surgeon.


Maintaining open communication with your surgeon is vital during the recovery process. If you have any concerns or questions, make sure to alert your surgeon promptly. Understanding what is considered normal and when to seek treatment is essential for a smooth recovery.

We highly recommend reading the surgery guides, including the recovery and post-operative care guides provided to you. These resources offer valuable information specific to your procedure and can guide you through the recovery process.


Proper nutrition plays a crucial role in wound healing and overall recovery. It is important not to follow restrictive diets that limit nutrient intake, particularly for individuals with wounds. Diets aimed at reducing cholesterol, and weight, or excluding entire food groups such as carbohydrates may not be appropriate during the healing process.

Remember, your recovery is unique to you, and it is important to give yourself the time and care needed to achieve the best desired results. By following these suggestions and adhering to your surgeon’s guidance, you can support a smoother and more comfortable recovery journey.

Recovery FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions About Recovery After Cosmetic Surgery

When Can I Walk After Surgery?

Walking after plastic surgery is generally encouraged, as it promotes circulation, helps prevent blood clots, and aids in the healing process. However, the timing and extent of walking may vary depending on the type of surgery performed and individual factors.

In the immediate postoperative period, it is common for patients to experience some degree of discomfort, swelling, and limited mobility. Your surgeon will provide specific instructions regarding when it is safe to start walking and how much activity is appropriate for your situation.

Typically, patients are encouraged to engage in light walking and gentle movements as soon as possible after surgery. This helps prevent complications such as blood clot formation and assists in maintaining joint mobility. Initially, walking may be limited to short, slow-paced distances and should be gradually increased over time as you feel more comfortable and your surgeon gives the green light.

It is important to listen to your body and avoid overexertion. If you experience increased pain, excessive swelling, or any other concerning symptoms during or after walking, it is essential to consult with your surgeon for further guidance.

Remember, every patient’s recovery process is unique, and following your surgeon’s specific instructions regarding walking and activity levels will help ensure a proper recovery after plastic surgery.

When should I Exercise after Surgery?

Exercise after surgery is part of recovery, however, you will still need to avoid lifting and strenuous activity and ensure you get clearance from your surgeon first.

Ensure you go slowly and ease yourself back into it. Depending on your level of fitness and activity before surgery, you may find moving around difficult at first.

Follow the instructions your surgeon gives you for your specific surgical procedure. If something feels too heavy or painful, then listen to your body and take the hint.

See your surgeon if you think you have pulled your sutures or have any other concerns.

How can I reduce bruising and swelling after surgery?

There are a few ways to reduce bruising and swelling – Read our Blog on Reducing Bruising and Swelling after Breast Reduction Surgery

Can I smoke after surgery?

Smoking after surgery can have detrimental effects on your healing process and overall surgical outcome. It is strongly advised that you abstain from smoking, including any form of tobacco or nicotine use, during the recovery period.

Smoking can have several negative impacts on your body’s ability to heal properly. It reduces blood flow to the surgical site, depriving it of essential oxygen and nutrients needed for optimal healing. This can result in delayed wound healing, increased risk of infection, and poor tissue regeneration. Smoking also impairs the immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off potential infections.

Smoking also increases the likelihood of complications such as tissue necrosis (tissue death), poor scarring, and increased pain during the recovery process. It can also lead to the development of blood clots, which can be life-threatening.

To minimise risks and complications, it is essential to adhere to your surgeon’s instructions and refrain from smoking for the recommended duration of time BOTH before and after surgery. If you are a smoker and considering plastic surgery, it is advisable to quit smoking well in advance to optimize your chances of a proper recovery.

If you need support in quitting smoking, there are resources available such as nicotine replacement therapies, counseling services, and support groups that can assist you in this process. Your surgeon or healthcare provider can provide guidance and recommendations for quitting smoking before your surgery.

Post-op Recovery Diet – What Should I Eat After Surgery?

Extreme dieting is not recommended as you heal unless you’re having weight loss surgery, which involves its own restrictive diet. If you have food or nutritional limitations or allergies, be sure you discuss these with your surgeon before your operation. If constipation is a concern after surgery or you have constipation due to pain medications, ask your surgeon for advice.

Maintaining a balanced diet before and after your surgery ensures your body is receiving the vitamins and nutrients it needs to aid recovery.

Multi-Vitamin Foods

Almonds, fruit, lean meats, whole grains, yoghurt and seafood are all high in vitamins E, D, C and A, iron, protein, fibre and zinc. Foods containing these nutrients assist in wound healing, bone healing, repair of soft tissue, immunity and forming of scar tissue. They also promote the growth of new blood cells.


Further, make sure you’re drinking lots of water to keep your fluids up. Aim for at least 1.5 liters per day. Avoid alcohol and other intoxicating substances to maximize your healing capacity.


Protein is essential for the maintenance and repair of body tissue. Depleted protein levels will cause a decrease in collagen development, slowing the wound-healing process. Adequate protein levels will help achieve optimal wound healing rates. Sources of protein include red and white meats, fish, eggs, liver, dairy products (milk, cheese, yoghurt), soybeans, legumes, seeds, nuts and grains.

Vitamin C

This vitamin plays an important role in collagen synthesis as well as the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis). Adequate Vitamin C levels help strengthen the healing wound.

Vitamin C also has important antioxidant properties that help the immune system, and it increases the absorption of iron. Foods containing Vitamin C include fruit and vegetables, especially, oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, and leafy vegetables.

Vitamin A

This vitamin can help with wound healing. It increases the inflammatory response in wounds, stimulating collagen synthesis.

Low Vitamin A levels can result in delayed wound healing and susceptibility to infection. Foods that contain Vitamin A include; milk, cheese, eggs, fish and dark green vegetables.



Iron is part of the system that provides oxygen to the site of the wound, therefore, iron (hemoglobin) deficiency can impair healing.

A lack of iron/Iron deficiency can also result in impaired collagen production and strength of the wound. The best sources of iron in the diet are Red meat, Offal, Fish, Eggs, Wholemeal bread, Dark green leafy vegetables, Dried fruits, Nuts, Yeast extracts

Scar Management and Healing Support

Scars are a natural part of the healing process and can occur after injury or surgery. They are areas of fibrous tissue that replace normal skin in the affected area. While scars are an inevitable outcome of most wounds, their appearance and visibility can vary among individuals.

It’s important to note that all surgeries leave scars, but the extent and visibility of the scars can differ from person to person. Your surgeon will provide you with information about the expected outcome and discuss any specific concerns you may have regarding scarring.

The healing of a scar is a gradual process that can take over 12 months for it to fully settle. During this time, the scar may undergo changes in colour, texture, and overall appearance. It’s important to be patient and allow your body sufficient time to heal and the scar to mature.

Dr Craig uses advanced surgical techniques and scar minimisation technologies to help reduce the extent of scarring. These techniques aim to optimise wound closure and promote better healing outcomes.

Additionally, there are various healing aids and treatments available that can assist in scar healing and minimise their visibility. Your surgeon can provide you with specific advice on how to care for your scar and recommend appropriate measures to help minimise its appearance.

While complete elimination of scars is not possible, taking proactive steps in scar management, following your surgeon’s guidance, and adopting good wound care practices can contribute to achieving the desired scar outcome.

Surgery Follow-Ups and Annual Check-Ups

Follow-up and check-up visits are part of our service and are included in your surgery cost/price quote. So be sure you book, and attend, each and every recommended follow-up appointment, including having annual check-ups with your surgeon.

About Dr Craig Rubinstein

Dr Craig Rubinstein FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) is an experienced Melbourne Specialist Plastic Surgeon for breast and abdominoplasty surgery.

Dr Rubinstein offers women personalised abdominoplasty surgery and all forms of cosmetic breast surgery.


Next Steps in Your Surgical Journey

Want more information about your Procedure?

  • Download a Free Procedure Guide on your chosen surgery.
  • Visit the FAQs and read patient reviews to learn more about your intended procedure.
  • For more information about pricing visit our cost page.
  • You can also talk to our Patient Care Team from 9 to 5 pm Monday to Friday on 1300 599 990

Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery

About Your First Consultation

  • Dr Rubinstein’s Consultation fee is $300.
  • A referral from your GP or specialist is essential.
  • A referral helps when claiming Medicare or Private Health Insurance coverage.
  • Please contact the Patient Care Team at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery to book your consultation.

What to Bring to Your Consultation

  • You are more than welcome to bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents provided.
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes.