The below lists outlines some common terms to describe plastic surgery recovery expectations and the general timing with each. Be sure to consult with your aesthetic plastic surgeon on your specific recovery expectations and estimated timing.
Indicates the expected time after which a patient can resume his or her normal lifestyle.
- Essentially no downtime: Less than 24 hours
- Minimal downtime: 24 to 72 hours
- Moderate downtime: Three to seven days
- Significant downtime: More than seven days
Ecchymosis (the passage of blood from ruptured blood vessels into the subcutaneous tissue, marked by a purple discoloration of the skin) that is visible on the skin without concealer applied.
- Essentially no bruising: No ecchymosis/bruising, but patients may have some immediate change in skin tone
- Minimal bruising: Ecchymosis that resolves in less than one week
- Moderate bruising: Ecchymosis that resolves in one to two weeks
- Significant bruising: Ecchymosis that takes more than two weeks to resolve
Skin demonstrating increased redness and noticeable without concealer or makeup applied.
- Essentially none: Skin returns to normal (pretreatment or improved) coloring in less than 24 hours, but patients may have some immediate change in skin tone
- Minimal: Hyperemia that resolves in one to three days
- Moderate: Hyperemia that resolves in four to seven days
- Significant: Hyperemia that takes more than seven days to resolve
Obvious swelling in the treated areas and sometimes in the surrounding locations.
- Essentially none: Swelling that resolves in less than three days
- Minimal: Swelling that resolves in three to seven days
- Moderate: Swelling that resolves in eight to 14 days
- Significant: Swelling takes more than 14 days to resolve
Any discomfort or pain associated with treatment.
- Essentially none: No pretreatment medication, local anesthesia during treatment, or post treatment pain management is required. However, you may need over-the-counter medications
- Minimal pain: Requires pretreatment oral medications (prescriptions), topical agents, skin cooling during treatment, and/or post-treatment prescriptions for pain management
- Moderate pain: Same requirements as “minimal pain” but with pretreatment, local anesthesia to obtain anticipated results
- Significant pain: Same requirements as “minimal pain” but with pretreatment intravenous sedatives or general anesthesia to obtain anticipated clinical results