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Restylane Downtime and Recovery

How many days of recovery time can I expect with Restylane? Can I have it done in the morning and go to work without anyone really noticing?

Doctor Answers 23

Restylane Downtime: Bruising, Swelling, and Redness after Facial Fillers

In most cases, the amount of downtime following a facial filler injection is minimal depending on the technique used. A small gauge needle used on a patient who does not meet any criteria for excessive bleeding will undoubtedly result in quick recovery.

Our office performs countless facial fillers and we advise patients to not schedule them immediately prior to a major social event. A small bruise can occur in any patient, even in the best circumstances, and thus several days of recovery is opportune.

Tips to minimize bleeding prior to facial fillers:

  • Decrease consumption of aspirin, ibuprofen, or coumadin 3 weeks prior to injection. Defer to instructions set by your individual physician.
  • Ask the doctor to use smaller gauge needles.
  • Use Bruisestick, Sinech, or other anti-bruising agents after injection.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD Kare Plastic Surgery & Skin Health Clinic Santa Monica, CA Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

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Recovery after Restylane

Great question.  Dermal-fillers like Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm, and Radiesse are effective non-surgical treatments to rejuvenate your appearance.  While the treatment is performed in about an hour and the effects are immediate, you may need 1-2 weeks to see the full results of your treatment and recover from any bruising and swelling.

Plan ahead by scheduling your treatment a week or two in advance of any special event.  To minimize bruising, stop taking any aspirin, vitamin E, fish oil supplements, and St. John's Wort.  Avoid excess sun exposure.  Also, you may want to try Arnica (oral and topical treatments) pre- and post-treatment.  You can find Arnica over-the-counter at most food/healthfood stores.  Icing the area after treatment may help with initial swelling.

Best of luck!

David C. Mabrie, M.D., FACS

David Mabrie, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Most patients can return to work the day following their treatment.

Most patients can return to work the day following their treatment. The amount of swelling one may experience depends on where they had Restylane injected. Lips may become a bit more swollen than the rest of the face. Any time one places a needle in the skin, there is a risk to develop a bruise. It is advisable to avoid non steroidal anti inflammatories the week prior to your treatment.

Sanjay Grover, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Most of the time, Yes.

To monarchbutterfly,

Typically, there is a little bruising following Restylane which lasts for a day or two and is easily covered with makeup. We apply ice after the injection to minimize bruising. Also, you will have even less bruising if you don't take aspirin or other anti-inflammatories.

But very rarely, there will be more noticeable bruising which I have seen last up to 5 days.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Minor swelling and bruising is possible after Restylane

In my practice, I ask my patients to refrain from taking blood thinners (i.e., aspirin or ibuprofen) for about 2 weeks prior to the office procedure. I agree with the other physicians: The downtime after injectables varies per individual. Depending on the person, bruising and swelling may occur but usually subside within a week. We usually give our patients ice packs immediately after injecting to decrease the chance of bruising.

Most patients are able to drive immediately after receiving injections and go about their day. Results with Restylane and other hyaluronic fillers are visible about a week later, and generally last up to one year. The estimated 'downtime' varies from patient to patient and also is based on the injection technique, and somewhat depends on the type of filler used.

Thank you for your question!

Stephen A. Goldstein, MD, FACS

Stephen A. Goldstein, MD
Englewood Plastic Surgeon

Minimal downtown with Restylane

The estimated 'downtime' varies from patient to patient and also is based on the injection technique, and somewhat depends on the type of filler used.

The short answer is this: with any hyaluronic filler (Perlane, Restylane, Juvederm, Prevelle and Elevess) you can expect the following

1. redness and swelling immediately after injection for 24-36 hours. This is usually minimal, and most people have no problems interacting socially immediately after injection

2. some mild bruising (which again depends on patient, product and injector) which subsides over 4-5 days. Many patients experience no bruising at all.

3. The final cosmetic result is achieved once swelling subsides after 5-7 days.

4. sleeping with head slightly elevated helps with swelling after injection

5. gentle icing immediately after injection helps with swelling and bruising

Most kindly,

Scott Sattler MD FACS

Everyone responds differently

This is a good question. Ideally, you will not have any bruising or swelling. However, realistically, most people have mild swelling and about 1/3 of people develop very mild bruising. You probably should not return to work the same day, but you will likely be fine to go back the next day. If you are worried, have the procedure on a Friday and you will be fine by Monday for work. Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Downtime with Restylane

Dermal injectables are a great way to temporarily improve the look of facial wrinkles. They are notable for low downtime, minimal discomfort and immediate results.

Any procedure has risks however -
There can be local site reaction (some redness at the injection site), some swelling (which usually subsides in 2 - 3 days.) You may be asked to massage your injection site to reduces swelling and more evenly spread the product and reduce lumps.

Mentor (recently purchased by Johnson and Johnson) has a hyaluronic injectable called Prevelle which in my practice has led to less swelling and can be a good option for people who need something for tonight. There are always pluses and minuses - the Prevelle product does not last as long as Restylane.

I hope this helps.

Steven Williams, MD

Restylane Downtime and Recovery

The biggest side effect or cause of downtime is bruising and if you are off all blood thinners you should be ok. You can also laser bruises and make them clear up much faster. Most of my patients are going right back to work after treatment.

Suzanne Kilmer, MD
Sacramento Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Bruising and swelling depend on personal factors

The downtime of restylane injections vary both with the area injected and with the individual. For most areas, you can definitely have it done in the morning and go to work with the help of a little bit of makeup. For the lips, which tend to swell moreso than other areas, your lips may not be able to go unnoticed. For that reason, I recommend my patients have their lips done on a Friday afternoon if this is their concern. Best of luck. 

David Rapaport, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.