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How Do Lifestyle Factors Impact the Results and Recovery From Cosmetic Surgery?7 min read

How Do Lifestyle Factors Impact the Results and Recovery From Cosmetic Surgery?
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Have you ever thought about what it takes to enjoy a successful cosmetic surgery recovery? Sure, a skilled surgeon is critical, but there’s a lot more you can do to ensure you recover successfully.

It’s easy to think of cosmetic surgery recovery as a passive process where you just wait for the body to heal. 

The truth is, however, that it’s an active journey you and your body go through together. What you do or don’t do before and after your procedure will significantly impact your recovery process and, ultimately, your results.

Think of it this way: you wouldn’t run a marathon without training and eating right, would you? Cosmetic surgery recovery isn’t much different. Your body needs to be in the best shape possible to tackle the healing process head-on. That means considering lifestyle factors like smoking, alcohol, sleep, diet, and exercise both pre- and post-procedure.

So, buckle up, as we’re about to dive deeper into each of these five factors and how they contribute to your cosmetic surgery recovery!

Understanding the Role of Lifestyle Factors in Cosmetic Surgery

How Smoking Impacts Cosmetic Surgery Results

It’s no secret anymore that smoking is bad for you, right? Well, it poses even more risks if you’re planning to have cosmetic surgery. 

The chemicals in cigarette smoke, such as nicotine and carbon monoxide, constrict blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the skin. This is a serious matter of concern because only consistent blood flow will complete the healing process.

Without enough blood flow, the skin doesn’t get the nutrients it needs to heal properly, leading to:

  • Longer recovery times
  • Wound healing complications
  • Skin necrosis 
  • Increased risk of infections 

Even worse, surgery results might disappoint the expectations of active smokers. For example, if you get a facelift, your skin may not heal nicely and end up looking uneven or saggy.

If you’re thinking about cosmetic surgery, it’s essential to kick the smoking habit first. Cosmetic surgeons recommend a break from smoking several weeks before and after the procedure. Not only will you increase your chances of a smoother recovery, but you’ll also improve your overall health!

Doctor hands making dotted lines on female face for cosmetic face lift against grey background. Surgeon drawing dotted lines on patient face before surgery.

The Impact of Alcohol on Cosmetic Surgical Outcomes and Healing

Alcohol, much like smoking, can throw a curveball in your surgical journey through:

  • Impaired healing process: Excess alcohol consumption interferes with the body’s ability to heal post-surgery by slowing down your immune system.
  • Increased risk of complications: Alcohol acts as a blood thinner, increasing the risk of excessive bleeding during surgery and postoperative hematoma formation.
  • Dehydration: Dehydration slows the recovery process down and leads to dry, tight skin.
  • Interactions with medications: Many painkillers and antibiotics interact negatively with alcohol, leading to side effects like an upset stomach, headaches, or dizziness.
  • Longer recovery time: The longer your body takes to heal, the longer it will be before you can enjoy the full benefits of your cosmetic surgery.

While a glass of wine or a beer might sound like a harmless way to relax pre- or post-surgery, it’s best to play it safe and steer clear until your surgeon gives you the all-clear.

The Influence of Proper Diet and Exercise on Cosmetic Surgery Recovery

The Value of a Balanced Diet for Optimal Healing

Food isn’t just about keeping our stomachs from growling; it’s the fuel our bodies need to recover and heal after cosmetic surgery!

Imagine you’re about to embark on a cross-country road trip. You wouldn’t fill your car with low-quality fuel, would you? 

It’s the same with your body. To get you through the healing journey smoothly, your body requires high-quality nutrients in the shape of a balanced diet.


Protein is the construction crew of your body, helping to rebuild tissues and makes your skin, hair, and nails strong. Plus, it helps keep your immune system working in tip-top shape!

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are essential for a whole host of bodily functions, including the healing process. Vitamins A and C, for instance, are known for their role in tissue repair, while zinc is great for wound healing.


It might not seem like a big deal, but staying hydrated keeps your cells functioning correctly and helps transport nutrients wherever needed.


After surgery, you might find that the pain medications leave your digestive system a little … backed up. Eating fiber-rich foods like fruits, veggies, and whole grains will keep things moving along.

Stay Away From Unhealthy Foods

While focusing on all these healthy tips, limit the intake of not-so-great foods, such as sugary snacks and processed meals. They can cause inflammation and slow down the healing process.

Girl doing yoga at beach

How Regular Exercise Contributes to a Smooth Recovery

Regular exercise plays a big part in a smooth recovery from cosmetic surgery. It’s like putting in a little bit of elbow grease to get a well-oiled machine, which in this case, is your body!

But remember, “regular exercise” doesn’t mean you need to become a fitness fanatic overnight, or go hard in the gym the day after your surgery. In fact, that’s a big no-no. You’ll need your doctor’s green light before you get back to your exercise routine, and even then, you should start off slow and steady.

So, why is exercise beneficial for recovery? Let’s break it down:

  • Boosts circulation: Regular exercise promotes better blood flow, which is critical for healing. Enhanced circulation means more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your healing tissues.


  • Strengthens immune system: A healthy immune system is your best ally in warding off infections post-surgery.
  • Maintains a healthy weight: Keeping a healthy weight reduces the risk of complications and enhances the aesthetic outcome of the surgery.


  • Reduces stress and improves mood: Exercise releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones, keeping your spirits up during recovery.


  • Enhances lung function: Exercise improves lung function and helps reduce the risk of post-op respiratory complications.


  • Improves muscle tone and strength: Strong muscles support your body better, contribute to a better overall appearance, and reduce the strain on healing tissues.

The Importance of Adequate Sleep for Cosmetic Surgery Recovery

It might sound like an excuse to hit the snooze button and stay in bed all day, but trust us, sleep is a game changer when it comes to healing. It’s like your body’s very own pit stop where all the repairs and maintenance take place!

When you snooze, your body gets to work on repairing and regenerating cells, reducing inflammation, and giving your immune system a little boost — all essential for a successful post-surgery recovery.

Plus, getting adequate sleep is a fantastic way to alleviate pain and discomfort. Ever noticed how you seem to forget about your pain when you’re fast asleep? That’s your body’s clever way of managing discomfort!

The recovery process can feel like an emotional roller-coaster, hindering your recovery. But, with a solid sleep schedule, you’ll keep your mood steady and your stress levels under control.

How Can You Make Sure You're Getting Enough Quality Sleep During Recovery?

  1. Start by setting a regular sleep schedule and stick to it, even if it means missing the latest late-night shows.

  2. Make sure your sleeping environment is quiet, dark, and cool.

  3. Consider using a supportive pillow to keep your body in the most comfortable and optimal position for healing. 

Want to Learn More About Lifestyle Factors and Cosmetic Surgery? Contact Us Today!

Ready to take the first step toward your rejuvenated self? Meet us at 19500 Sandridge Way, Suite 350, Leesburg, VA 20176, or call us at (703) 574-4342 for a complimentary consultation with Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Phillip Chang before proceeding with your procedure. If you are a suitable candidate for the treatment, our team will help you navigate the entire process from beginning to end. Also, remember to check out our blog and social media for more information on plastic surgery and cosmetic trends!

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