Alcohol, which can affect plastic surgery recovery

How Alcohol Affects Plastic Surgery Recovery

After getting plastic surgery, it’s important to take the proper steps to promote recovery. This can include avoiding certain behaviors. For example, most patients will be asked to refrain from alcohol for a period of a few weeks before and after surgery. Alcohol is typically restricted because it can negatively affect the healing process.

Some of the negative effects of alcohol after plastic surgery include:


Alcohol reduces pain tolerance, which may make the healing process after surgery more painful. It can also interfere with certain pain medications that are used after plastic surgery. This can increase pain and may also cause other side effects depending on the amount of alcohol you consume and the type of pain medication you are using.


Since alcohol is a blood thinner, it can increase bleeding during surgery (if you have it before the procedure) and during recovery (if you have it after). This can result in increased pain, a longer recovery period, and more scarring. If the bleeding is serious, it may require more attention and medical care to resolve.


After surgery, swelling is a natural side effect. It resolves over time with proper care. However, alcohol consumption dilates blood vessels and can increase swelling. Swelling interferes with wound healing and can increase the appearance of scar tissue. Scars may also become misshapen depending on the type of swelling. Additionally, swelling can increase your pain and discomfort.


Surgery is difficult on the body and one effect is that it can cause dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic and increases this effect. Being dehydrated can make you feel fatigued and slows the healing process. It also puts you at greater risk of other complications.

When Can You Drink Again After Surgery?

It’s important to realize that every patient, every surgery, and every recovery is different. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions for how long to avoid alcohol as well as other steps you can take for optimum recovery. They will also be available to answer any questions you may have if you are unsure of what to do as you recover.

As a general rule, you’ll need to wait up to several weeks after surgery before you can drink again. More complex procedures, such as abdominoplasty, require a longer period of abstinence from drinking. If you are concerned about this time period, it’s important to talk with your doctor and develop a strategy to stay on track.

Skilled Plastic Surgeons in Tucson

If you’re interested in getting plastic surgery in Tucson, the surgeons at Hess & Sandeen can help. We have experience with a variety of cosmetic procedures and provide personalized care throughout the process. We want to help you look and feel your best.

To learn more about your options for plastic surgery, contact us today.