1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Recovering After Surgery


Updated June 23, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

after surgery, recovering after surgery

Surgical Instruments

Photo © Paul Tearle/Getty Images
Question: Recovering After Surgery

I am having surgery next week and I keep getting different estimates of how long my recovery after surgery will take. On the internet it says six weeks, my doctor says eight weeks, and a friend who had the same surgery says four. Who should I believe?


The length of time you will require for a complete recovery after surgery is difficult for anyone to predict. It is truly an educated guess, as there is always the potential for complications and every person heals differently.

Your surgeon will have the best idea of how long your recovery can take, as they will be aware of all the facets of your health, including your age, any medical conditions you may have, the specifics of your procedure, and anything else that could impact your recovery.

While each patient is unique, many surgeries can be done in several different ways. For example, a minimally invasive hysterectomy may require only a few weeks of recovery time, while the open procedure with an abdominal incision could take ten to twelve weeks for recovery. This is another reason why predictions of how long your recovery will take vary widely from one source to another.


Having Surgery? What You Need To Know. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed July 2011. http://surgery.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=surgery&cdn=health&tm=13&f=22&su=p284.9.336.ip_p736.9.336.ip_&tt=2&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//www.ahrq.gov/consumer/surgery/surgery.pdf

How Can I Recover From Heart Surgery? The American Heart Association. 2007. http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@hcm/documents/downloadable/ucm_300447.pdf

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Surgery
  4. After Surgery
  5. How Long Will Recovering After Surgery Take

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.