With any California plastic surgery, not only do you need to consider pre-op instructions when it comes to timing the surgery, but there is also the healing process that you need to factor in. Whether your goal is to look fabulous in a bikini on California’s beaches, look younger for an upcoming school reunion, or you have a wedding coming up in the spring and want breasts that look great in today’s strapless fashions, now is the time to start planning your plastic surgeries.

With any cosmetic surgery, your plastic surgeon wants you to have stopped smoking, drinking alcohol, and using certain medications or nutritional supplements a few weeks prior to the surgery. From the date of your consultation, you will likely need a few weeks before the surgeon will perform the surgery. Therefore, you should plan on the consultation to take place approximately a month prior to your surgery date. Then, there are the recovery times to consider. Here is more information on the recovery times for popular cosmetic surgeries like breast augmentations, facelifts, liposuction, and body lifts.

Breast Augmentation

A breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the United States. It offers women the chance to increase the size or symmetry of their breasts using saline or silicone gel implants. Typically, the surgery takes an hour or two to complete and then the recovery process begins

During the first day or two, you will feel sore and some swelling may occur. Pain is managed with medications prescribed by your surgeon. You also need to restrict activities and get extra rest for a month. You should be able to return to work two weeks after the surgery, but this is dependent on your job and how strenuous your work requirements are, so make sure you’ve gone over that with your doctor. After a month, you should be ready for social activities and outings to the beach.


A facelift is an effective tool in taking years off your appearance, and typically the results last a decade. Scars are hidden within the hairline and in folds around the ears. As it true with any cosmetic surgery, you do need to limit activities while you recover.

At the end of a facelift, your surgeon may put drains in place to help the body get rid of blood and fluid as your incisions heal. These drains remain in place for a day or two. Swelling and bruising are common following a facelift, but they fade over time. It may take three weeks before all swelling subsides. You will have stitches out within 5 to 10 days, and you can usually return to work and social activities after 10 to 14 days.


The best candidates for liposuction are men and women who are near their ideal body weight, within 30 percent, and who have good muscle tone and skin elasticity. If you are not within 30 percent of your target weight, you should continue to diet and exercise in order to reach your goal prior to a liposuction consultation.

During liposuction, an instrument known as a cannula is inserted through tiny incisions and then moved back and forth to break up fat. This makes it easier for the cannula to then suction out those fat deposits. When the procedure is complete, your surgeon may add drains to the incisions and wraps your body in compression bandages.

At home, you can walk around, but you still need to take it easy and avoid strenuous activities. You will experience some swelling for two or three days and bruising that lasts for up to 10 days. Drains and stitches are removed after a week. At that point, you can return to normal activities.

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck is an effective way to remove excess fat and loose skin on the abdomen. The surgery also helps tighten abdominal muscles and can remove some stretch marks. As the incision is made near the pubic hairline and near the belly button, scars are easily hidden.

In terms of recovery, you need at least two weeks of rest and avoidance of any strenuous activity, although sometimes a longer period is recommended. Bruises and swelling are common and start to subside within a few weeks. It can take a few months before you are fully healed, so if you’re planning to hit the beaches with a toned abdomen, you need to plan a tummy tuck at least three months prior to the summer beach season.

After extensive training in surgery and cosmetic procedures on the east coast, in the Air Force, and at the University of Texas, Dr. Robert Kessler headed for California where he received additional training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery before opening practices in Beverly Hills, Santa Ana, and his current practice in Newport Beach. A consultation is the next step to achieving your plastic surgery goals for 2014. To get started, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kessler by calling 949.644.6544. He will discuss the surgery, recovery time frames, and costs with you during this appointment.

All Articles >