Cosmetic Surgery Recovery Tips after Plastic Surgery with Dr Gittos

This page contains general Cosmetic Surgery Recovery tips and information in relation to having cosmetic plastic surgery. It is general in nature and does NOT constitute medical advice. Be sure you follow the recommended post-operative instructions provided directly by Dr Gittos and contact his team with any questions or concerns.

If you follow Dr Gittos’ INSTRUCTIONS you are less likely to have COMPLICATIONS.

Recover in Luxury after your surgery with LUXECARE

LuxeCare provides an opportunity for you to rest & relax after having surgery in 5-star luxury at the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour being visited by registered nurses.

Visit the LUXECARE website for more details.

recovering after cosmetic surgery - recovery tips

Dr Gittos’ Team has Post-Op Guidelines – recovery tips Notes

You will receive detailed instructions on post-operative care to take home with you (Also available below). These specific post op instructions will include:

  • How to care for the surgical site
  • How to use your garment
  • Which Gentle Exercises to perform
  • Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
  • Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in overall health
  • How to and when to arrange a follow up with Dr. Gittos and his team
  • Contact numbers in case of concerns or after-hour emergencies

Following your surgeon’s instructions is the key to the success of your surgery.

DOWNLOAD Dr Gittos’ Patient Post Op Instructions & recovery tips


DOWNLOAD Breast Augmentation Post-op Instructions

DOWNLOAD Breast Reduction Post-op Instructions

DOWNLOAD Breast Lift Post-op Instructions

DOWNLOAD Breast Implant Removal Post-Op Instructions


DOWNLOAD Rhinoplasty Post Op Instructions

DOWNLOAD Blepharoplasty Eye Lid LIft Post-op Instructions

DOWNLOAD Facelift Post-op Instructions


DOWNLOAD Labiaplasty Post-op Instructions

DOWNLOAD Tummy Tuck Abdominoplasty Post-op Instructions

DOWNLOAD Thigh LIft Post-op Instructions

What to Avoid after surgery

  • It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive rubbing, force or motion during the time of healing.
  • Avoid wearing any tight clothing that must go over your head or require excessive movement of your arms above your head.
  • Avoid any heavy lifting and any tasks that require exertion.

What to watch for after surgery – warning signs

Once you are at home, please seek medical attention if:

  • You experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or heart beat irregularities
  • Notice unusual swelling, bleeding, redness, pain, or persistent discharge from your wound
  • Start to feel generally unwell, hot or feverish
  • Break out in a persistent rash or skin irritations
  • remember that surgery recovery time frames and experiences will VARY from person to person
  • Surgical Risks or Complications could delay your normal surgery recovery time estimates, so be patient



  • eat well and drink plenty of fluids
  • stay hydrated with water
  • don’t replace water intake with coffee or soft drinks – it’s not the same
  • rest adequately
  • follow your surgeon’s advice on movement
  • gentle movement helps prevent complications that arise from being too sedentary for long periods
  • take good care of your emotional well-being after having cosmetic surgery
  • remind yourself WHY you wanted surgery performed
  • recognise you may have fluctuating emotions at first
  • never smoke before or after surgery
  • avoid consuming intoxicating substances
  • follow good nutritional advice and post-op exercise time frames (exercising heavily too soon can harm you or increase your scar formation)
  • Eat well, rest well and adopt healthy habits as you recover from cosmetic or plastic surgery.

General Plastic Surgery Recovery Tips and FAQ’s

How Many Nights Should I Spend in Hospital?

Your stay in hospital depends on how quickly you can recover which varies from patient to patient.

  • For breast surgery patients we advise a 1 to 2-night stay but some lighter surgery can be day surgery.
  • For tummy tuck and bodylift patients we advise a few nights in hospital
  • Many surgeries can be done as a day surgery depending on your health

At the time of your consultation, Dr Gittos will discuss the length of your hospital stay and explain why a longer stay may be required for certain procedures or patients.

How much time will I need to be off work after Surgery?

Each patient is different so your time off work will vary due to your speed of recovery, your level of bruising and pain and also on the type of work that you do.

Smokers and obese patients generally take longer to recover and have a poorer final result.

  • For breast augmentation patients we recommend 1-2 weeks off work
  • For breast reduction, we suggest 1-2 weeks off work
  • For abdominoplasty or major body surgery around 3-4 weeks off work. (longer if your tummy muscles have split due to pregnancy or obesity)
  • For nose and facial surgeries, depending on your swelling and bruising, your “social downtime” can be around 2-3 weeks

Your time off work really depends on the activity level in the type of work you do – for breast surgeries this can be 2 weeks for an office/desk job, 3 weeks for an ‘on your feet’ shop job or 4+ weeks for an active job. It is often up to you to decide when you are ready to return to work.

Some General Guidelines for estimating time off work..

  • We advise that you do NOT drive or operate heavy equipment for a minimum of one week after having surgery with a general Anaesthetic; ask your Surgeon for specifics in relation to your procedure.
  • There is always a small risk of having a surgical complication and your return to work being delayed.
  • We can provide a confidential Medical Certificate for time off work.

When can I start exercising after my procedure?

recovering after cosmetic surgery - recovery tips

This varies from patient to patient and surgery to surgery. Don’t try to do too much too soon.

We encourage leisurely walking and light duties following your procedure. At the time of your consultation, we will discuss the type of exercise that you would like to do and how soon you can return to the activity.

For fitness enthusiasts, this may mean 10-12 weeks before heavy gym exercise like weights, bouncing or running, sometimes longer.

Further Reading on Recovery Tips – Dr Gittos’ Blogs

About Dr Mark Gittos FRACS (Plast) – New Zealand Plastic Surgeon 

Practice locations in Herne Bay Auckland, Northland and Bay of Plenty – Kerikeri, Whangarei, New Plymouth & Tauranga

Dr Mark Gittos is a leading Specialist Plastic Surgeon and operates a practice in Herne Bay, Auckland and in the UK. The practice focuses on both surgical and non-surgical procedures, each designed to help restore, improve or change a physical characteristic or problem. The first step in every case is to talk through your personal requirements and explore all the options, before deciding on the most effective solution.

Dr Mark Gittos offers high quality, natural-looking cosmetic surgery results and is highly experienced in BreastBody and Face Surgery having performed over 4000 Surgeries in the last 26 years.  With worldwide expertise Dr Gittos is an expert in breast, face and body surgery for men & women. 

Naturally, before any treatment is begun, we will explain clearly the advantages and risk factors; so that you have the information you need to make an informed decision that is best for you. Visit the practice to find out more.


Please NOTE: Dr Gittos only performs surgery on non-smoker patients with a BMI less than 30. To check your BMI please visit the NZ Heart Foundation website. For help giving up smoking before surgery visit the Smoke Free website

Do your Research

What to Bring to your Plastic Surgeon Consultation

  • Bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices
  • Take lots of notes and read the documents provided thoroughly
  • Dress in simple clothes as you may need to undress for examination
  • Bring your medical referral and any relevant medical documents or test results

Book your Initial Surgery Consultation

  • A Referral from your GP or specialist is helpful but NOT essential – you can have a consultation without a GP Referral
  • Email us or Call on 09 529 5352 to arrange your surgeon consultation appointment.
  • Book a consultation with Dr Gittos by paying the Consultation Fee – $350 incl GST

Traveling for Surgery? – Consider post-surgery luxury recovery in a Hotel with LuxeCare

Please contact us to arrange to book a consultation with our Specialist Plastic Surgeon or to speak with our Patient Care Advisor.

Send an enquiry form today or phone  09 529 5352  during Clinic Hours