Imagine a wide-open week filled with rest and relaxation. Add in a few bandages and a post-operative visit or two, and you’re describing plastic surgery recovery. With a little preparation, recovery can be an enjoyable experience. 
At H/K/B Cosmetic Surgery + MedSpa we want your recovery experience to be as enjoyable as possible. By following our advice and taking advantage of a few post-procedure plastic surgery recovery tips you can ease discomfort, speed healing, and get back to life sooner after your procedure.

Plastic Surgery Recovery Tips

Get ready for your recovery by making sure you have these essentials on hand and ready to use. Recovery instructions vary slightly from procedure to procedure, but these basic guidelines and plastic surgery recovery tips are useful for almost every procedure we offer from rhinoplasty to tummy tuck and almost everything in between.

Comfortable Clothing

Do you have a favorite pair of sweatpants? If not, it is time to find one. After surgery, you’re going to love your loungewear. Stock up on comfy clothes so you’ll have a spare set or two. 

After cosmetic breast surgery, it can be difficult to lift your arms temporarily; button-up or zip-up tops are easy to put on and take off. We also recommend soft pants with a loose, elastic waistband and supportive, slip-on shoes. You will want to minimize the amount of movement necessary for you to put on and take off clothes for a few days after your surgery.

Lots and Lots of Pillows

Elevating your head is helpful after many facial plastic surgery procedures, including rhinoplasty or facelift. After breast and body procedures, pillows are helpful for positioning so you can comfortably sleep. Make sure you’ve got several extra pillows available and ready to use and ask our staff for expert tips on comfortable positioning while you heal. 

A Well-Stocked Fridge

You may not be up to cooking for the first several days after surgery. Stock your fridge with easy to prepare options. Many of our patients prep extra when cooking in the weeks before surgery to fill their freezer so they can easily reheat meals during recovery. 

In addition to your favorite healthy foods, have a few options on hand that are gentle for an irritated tummy. Some patients feel nauseous after anesthesia or when using pain medications. Ginger ale, applesauce, bananas, rice, and crackers are foods that many patients enjoy when they feel nauseous after surgery. 

Don’t forget lots of clear liquids so you’ll stay hydrated. 

Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications

Recovery shouldn’t be a painful experience. We provide pain medications as needed, but often these are only needed for the first couple of days.

We’ll provide you prescriptions for pain medications and antibiotics, if needed, before your surgery. Get these filled in advance if possible. No one wants to hang out at the pharmacy after surgery waiting for medications to be filled. 

After the first few days, most patients don’t require prescription pain relief and easily manage discomfort using over-the-counter options. Make sure you have ibuprofen and acetaminophen on hand. When used in combination, these are powerful medications that can enhance your comfort while you heal.

Over-the-counter pain relief can be very effective for easing pain and discomfort after surgery. Stay on top of all of your pain medications and follow our recovery instructions carefully. If you experience any unexpected discomfort or extreme pain, let us know. We want your recovery to be as comfortable as possible.

Contact Information for Your Surgeon

We’ll make sure you know how to reach us at all times right after your surgery. We’re here and ready to help if you need us. Keep our phone numbers handy and get in touch with any questions or concerns throughout the recovery process. 


As you prepare for plastic surgery, enlist friends and family to be part of your care team. You’ll need some help after surgery including:

  • Someone to drive you home on surgery day
  • A trusted adult to stay with you for the first one to two days
  • Help with kids, if you have young ones at home
  • Assistance around the house with cleaning, shopping, etc. 
  • Someone to drive you to/from post-surgical appointments until you’re off pain medications and able to drive

Try to arrange the help you need before your procedure so you aren’t struggling to find a ride or childcare at the last minute. 


Clear your calendar! Plastic surgery recovery usually requires a little downtime. We’ll tell you how many days you’ll need off from work before your procedure so you can plan. For most of our procedures, one to two weeks off from work is standard. 

During recovery, what your body needs most is rest. Avoid the temptation to overschedule or return to work too soon. Kick back, relax, and enjoy the downtime. 


You’ll have lots of free time during recovery, so use it wisely. Is there a show you’ve been wanting to binge? Maybe a new novel you’ve been eyeing? 

Although you’ll need extra sleep for the first week or two, you’ll also have plenty of time for some of your favorite low-impact activities, like reading and watching movies or TV. 

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Ease Swelling, Pain, and Bruising After Cosmetic Surgery. Manual lymphatic drainage, also known as MLD, is a massage technique that can improve your recovery experience after plastic surgery. We may recommend MLD to reduce swelling, pain, bruising, and infection after surgery. During a treatment session pressure is applied to drain excess fluid from the body. MLD is highly effective, but still gentle enough for patients to use after surgery.


Endermologie is great for patients before and after Charlotte liposuction. It increases circulation, smooths lumpy connective tissue, and helps to flush toxins and fluids from the body. Endermologie can reduce the appearance of cellulite and shape and smooth the skin. We often recommend this soothing massage to liposuction and tummy tuck patients. Endermologie is painless, but highly effective.


Help reduce puffiness and bruising post-treatment with ultrasound. One of the hardest parts of cosmetic surgery recovery is waiting for the bruising and swelling to fade. Ultrasound can make it happen sooner by reducing puffiness and bruising after treatment. We love pairing ultrasound with facial treatments and it has the added benefit of tightening and firming the skin too.

A Positive Attitude

Recovery is often the most challenging part of the plastic surgery process, but it also means you’re almost there. Look forward to your results and remember, recovery moves quickly. Soon you’ll be enjoying perkier breasts or a flatter tummy. You can do this by following these plastic surgery recovery tips, and when you do, you’re going to love the results. 

Call 704-659-9000 to contact H/K/B in Charlotte, NC and learn more about the many surgical and non-surgical cosmetic treatments we offer.