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After Surgery

Expect to feel a little lightheaded for the first 24 hours after surgery. You are not allowed to drive for that time and often longer depending on the type of surgery you have had. Expect some bruising and swelling.

Mobilise and rest

I know it seems contradictory but it is important to quietly mobilise after your surgery to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis. Otherwise especially in the first few days following your surgery you should rest with your head elevated on the pillows or in a supported chair. There are specific guidelines for blepharoplasty.


We will give you advice on showering depending on the procedure that you have had. For facelifts and ear surgery (otoplasty), you can shower after the head bandage has been removed.

What problems should I look out for soon after the surgery?

  • High fever
  • More pain than expected
  • New swelling. Usually the swelling will increase for the first 36-48 hours and then slowly decrease over time. If you notice new swelling after this time, please let us know.
  • Bleeding or seepage that continues after gentle pressure on the area for three minutes
  • Pain in the calf or difficulty breathing

Day three blues

It is normal to feel a little down following surgery. The worst is usually around day three after the surgery but some patients can feel it for a week or so after the surgery. It is important to realise that this is a normal part of recovering from surgery. You may feel worried about how things are healing or have a worry about an area that is a bit more sore than elsewhere. For most cosmetic surgical procedures we will plan to see you once or twice in the first week to check the dressings, the surgical area and to check in with how you are recovering.

When can I return to exercise?

Types of surgery Time off work Time to all normal activities
Face/Neck Lift 1 -3 weeks 6 weeks
Upper eyelid surgery 1-2 weeks 4-6 weeks
Lower eyelid surgery 1-3 weeks 6 weeks
Rhinoplasty (nose surgery) 1-2 weeks 3-5 weeks
Otoplasty (ear surgery) 1 week 6 weeks
Skin cancer surgery Depends


For surgery on the face, we recommend scar therapy with either paper tapes or rosehip oil massaged into the area. We can advise you on the best treatment for the type of surgery you have had.


This depends on the type of surgery you have had. Often the early post-operative appointments are with the nurse. We are available by phone or email during the day if you have concerns. There is an after-hours number for patients who have had recent surgery and have an urgent problem related to the surgery.

Contact us today.