Summary: What can you expect during your injectables recovery period? After all, injectables are usually advertised as not requiring any recovery. And while that’s technically true, especially when compared to surgery, there are some ways in which you’ll want to “recover” after you have an injectables treatment.

What can You Expect During Your Injectables Recovery?

So you’ve decided to get dermal filler injections! Finally get rid of those lines and wrinkles? That’s great. But have you thought about what you can expect during your injectables recovery? Now, this might seem like something of a silly question. Aren’t injectables supposed to be recovery-free?

Well, they are, sort of, especially when compared to their surgical counterparts. When advertisements or marketing mention that a particular injectable is recovery-free, what they really mean is that you won’t really have to take time off of work.

But there is still technically a recovery period when you undergo injectable treatments, just as there is when you undergo any plastic surgery or non invasive cosmetic surgery procedure. Just because that recovery is relatively easy to handle, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It’s just that recovery for injectable procedures, such as Botox and dermal fillers, is a little different than recovery for other procedure types.

Bruising and Swelling

When you undergo a surgical procedure, such as breast augmentation or tummy tuck, one of the most significant features of your recovery is likely the bruising and swelling you’ll encounter. This bruising and swelling is normal–and it could take several weeks (if not more) for that swelling to totally subside.

When you’re undergoing an injectable procedure, you may encounter the same problems, only on a significantly smaller scale. Indeed, bruising in particular is a fairly common element of the recovery process with injectables.

So, if you undergo injectable treatments such as Juvederm or Botox or even Kybella, you may experience some slight bruising and swelling. This usually occurs because the needle itself punctures a blood vessel beneath the skin. Icing the injection point can sometimes help prevent this (because it makes the blood vessels smaller). However, unlike the case with surgical procedures, any bruising should subside within a day or so (instead of weeks).

Does Recovery from Injectables Change Your Behavior?

Generally speaking, you should be able to return to any routine or normal activities after undergoing your injectable procedure. There are a couple of exceptions, however.

  • Exercise: You should probably avoid intense exercise for the 24 hours or so following your injections, especially if you were treated with Botox or Kybella. Intense exercise can get your blood pumping (that’s the idea, after all), which can cause the injectable to spread beyond its intended injection site. This means that the Botox might spread to areas of your face that weren’t exactly intentional. By waiting 24 hours or so after the injection to exercise, you give the Botox time to take effect so a bit of exercise won’t spread it around.
  • Contact: You should not play football or any other contact sports after you receive injectables, especially if those injectables were dermal fillers. When they are first injected, dermal fillers are slightly pliable (by design). This means that any contact could alter your results in a negative way, so patients are usually counseled to avoid engaging in such activities. Once the filler “sets,” which usually takes about twenty-four hours, you’ll be able to get as vigorous as you want–though, you should still be careful.

There will, of course, be some complications that you should keep an eye out for, but your cosmetic or plastic surgeon will generally be pretty detailed and specific about what those might be. Potential complications will vary based on the actual injectable in question (as well as your own unique physiology).

When is Recovery Over?

When you go in for plastic surgery, any procedure that involves a scalpel is going to require several weeks of recovery–at least, in most cases. That’s just because it takes your body a little while to recover from something like that.

Recovery from an injectable treatment usually goes much more quickly. Within 24 hours, there should be very few–if any–limitations on your behaviors. Still, the best way to figure out what you can expect during your injectables recovery is to talk to your plastic surgeon about what you should expect.

Everyone is going to be different–and, as a result, everyone’s going to have different recovery instructions. It’s very important that patients follow those recovery instruction and, if there’s any doubt, contact your cosmetic or plastic surgeon to check in. Injectables are usually easy, minimally invasive procedures, but they’re still medical procedures, so none of these decisions should be made lightly. Know what you can expect during your injectables recovery can help ensure you protect your results and maintain the highest comfort possible.


About the Author: Dan Voltz has been writing about plastic and cosmetic surgery for over four years. This article was written in conjunction with the office of Dr. Michael Ogilvie, a Chicago area plastic surgeon.

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