This is a touchy, but oft asked question I field as a Louisville Plastic Surgeon when patients are considering or are recovering from surgery.
There are a few rules that apply.
First, after any surgical procedure there is the risk of unwanted bleeding. This is highest in the first 24 hours when 99% of bleeds occur, but the ptoential for bleeding lasts for as long as 2 weeks. So, my recommedation is to avoid any physical activity that increases your pulse and blood pressure during that time interval.
Second, and the most obvious, is comfort. A guideline I offer for all of my patients after any type of surgery is “If it hurts, quit doing it.” Add this one in there as well.
A third factor is based on what part of you we did surgery on. Obviously you will have more freedom if you had your upper eyelids done than if we did a tummy tuck, breast aug, or liposuction of your inner thigh area. Point here is we don’t want the operated area to be traumatized early on and potentially damage your incision or work done under the skin surface.
Those are the factors I consider and so my recommendation is that you give it at least two weeks to avoid bleeding. After that point, you can try things out and let your comfort be your guide. And remember, if it hurts, your body is sending you a message…so quit!
Lee Corbett, MD