Robert M. Wald, Jr., MD - The Aesthetic Institute
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Exercise Timeline After Facial Plastic Surgery

6 Minute Read: 

A group of women exercising representing the exercise timeline after plastic surgery


Facial plastic surgery is one of the best ways to instantly eradicate the visual symptoms that years of aging left on your face. Nowadays, it’s one of the most popular ways to transform your appearance dramatically. Most people who decide to have facial surgery to achieve a more youthful look are interested in staying healthy and fit. In fact, many of them feel inspired to head to the gym after their surgery instantly. However, this is one of the mistakes that should be avoided at all costs. So, before your great plastic surgeon takes away several years off your face, it’s essential to know what to expect and when you can get back to your normal activities. Therefore, we’ve prepared an exercise timeline after facial plastic surgery to help you have an easier and safer recovery.

How to Heal Faster After Facial Plastic Surgery?

No matter what type of cosmetics procedure you had, you’ll first need to go through the recovery process to get to desired results. And if you thought that trying to calm your anxiety before your surgery was the worst, you were wrong. Recovery is the most uncomfortable part of the process, but it’s worth it. At the end of the day, you’ll look and feel better than ever.

A person with pink gloves injecting Botox into a woman's forehead

*Model:  Facial plastic surgery is one of the best ways to remove years off your face and instantly raise your confidence.

Even though recovery after facial plastic surgery can take a while, there are ways to shorten the healing time and ease your discomfort:

  • Make sure that someone is with you for the first 24 hours after your plastic surgery. They can help you get home from the hospital and ensure that you follow all postoperative instructions.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure.
  • To minimize swelling, it’s important to rest with your head at an elevated level. You can also apply cool packs to reduce swelling.
  • It goes without saying that you have to eat right and adequately hydrate yourself. If you don’t give your body the nutrients it needs, you’re risking complications.
  • Take only pain medications that your doctor recommended and follow all wound care instructions. 
  • Don’t use makeup for at least one week after your surgery. Also, don’t color or bleach your hair for at least a month.
  • Wear clothes that button in front. 

Exercising after facial plastic surgery

Whether you had facial liposuction or facelift surgery, getting back to your exercising routine will have to wait. If you start exercising too soon after your surgery, you risk some serious complications and damage. 

Why Wait to Exercise After Facial Plastic Surgery?

Many people wrongfully think that, as most workouts target muscles from the neck down, it’s safe for them to jump back into their old routine right after their procedures. However, this could be pretty dangerous.

Let’s take facelift surgery as an example. It’s a major surgery that involves creating an incision along the neck or lower face. And like any major surgery, it requires significant downtime and rest. Doing exercise, heavy lifting, or any strenuous activity can increase swelling, bleeding, and inflammation. 

This will not only slow down the healing process and make your recovery more difficult, but it can also increase the risk of infections. Putting too much stress on the incision sites will also increase the risk of scarring. It can even cause sutures to reopen. 

A plastic surgeon performing facial plastic surgery on a woman

*Models:  No matter what type of plastic surgery you had, it’s important you return to your workout routine in a manner that doesn’t jeopardize your results and, more importantly, your health.

The last thing you want is corrective surgery. Therefore, avoid any forms of exercise, even the gentlest ones, until your body is ready. As the experienced team from DubaiPT states, it’s always important to listen to your body and follow your surgeon’s advice. They’ll know when it’s safe for you to go back to your exercise routine.

When Is It Safe to Exercise After Facial Plastic Surgery?

Now that you know why avoiding workouts is essential, you are probably wondering for how long. The answer is not simple, as everyone heals at their own pace. Therefore, it’s important to listen to your body and your surgeon. We’ve prepared a timeline to give you a rough idea of what to expect after waking up from your surgery. 

1 to 3 Days After your surgery

The first few days after facial surgery are the most painful and uncomfortable, so resting is of the utmost importance. Make sure to give your body what it needs, and don’t get out of bed unless it’s absolutely necessary. You can expect swelling and bruising to start subsiding after 2 to 3 days.

During this time, it’s imperative to avoid strenuous movements such as bending over or inverting. However, from day three, you can start with light walking. It’s actually recommended since it helps promote blood flow which is crucial for healing. 

1 to 2 Weeks After Your Surgery

As your bruising and swelling subside, you’ll start to feel less discomfort. You might even feel good enough to go back to work and resume your everyday activities. Of course, only if your doctor approves. 

Even though you’ll certainly feel much better, it’s still recommended to keep physical activities light to moderate. Make sure to have daily walks, and as you continue to feel better, you can slowly increase the length.

2 to 4 Weeks After Your Surgery

Two weeks after your surgery, you can expect to feel much better physically. In fact, at this point, you might even get permission from your doctor to add gym workouts to your schedule. They’ll let you know what type of exercise is safe for you to do. For instance, light use of a stationary bicycle or walking on a treadmill shouldn’t cause any issues.

Even though you might feel ok, it’s still important to avoid strenuous exercises such as weightlifting or running. Also, activities that require you to invert your head below your waist are forbidden. Continue avoiding pools, too, as there’s still a risk of infection.

4 to 6 Weeks After Your Surgery

By week five after surgery, most people are approved by their doctors to return to their routines at about 75% effort. However, it’s still recommended to continue avoiding strenuous activities until you’re fully recovered. Usually, that happens somewhere between 6 to 8 weeks from your surgery. 

A woman wearing a white top lifting weights

*Model: It usually takes 6 to 8 weeks to fully recover from facial plastic surgery and go back to high-impact workouts and strenuous activities.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, exercising too soon after surgery can not only mess up your results but have severe consequences for your health and wellbeing. Therefore, make sure to take plenty of rest and give your body the downtime it needs. In return, you’ll feel and look better than ever before! So, wait no more, schedule a consultation, and let a knowledgeable doctor turn your dreams into reality. And don’t forget to follow the exercise timeline after facial plastic surgery!

Dr. Wald Looks forward to
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Robert Wald, MD
100 E. Valencia Mesa Drive, Suite 300
Fullerton, CA 92835

Phone: 714-312-3549
Fax: 714-738-1862

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