3 STAGES OF HEALING AFTER PLASTIC SURGERY Any wound, whether made surgically or occurring from trauma or injury, goes through three distinct healing stages: – 1. INFLAMMATORY PHASE This phase begins as soon as the wound is created. This phase lasts from a few days to a week, and includes redness, swelling and pain at the surgical site, all of which are perfectly normal. – 2. PROLIFERATIVE PHASE This lasts for about a month, during which time the body produces collagen around the edges of the wound, pulling it together into a scar. While the initial pain from surgery will have subsided by this stage, a new feeling of tightness, tenderness or pulling may be present, although improving steadily. – 3. REMODELING PHASE The remodeling phase is the longest of the three stages of healing, covering at least six months after surgery and lasting up to several years. Over this time, the body breaks down the collagen buildup from the previous phase, minimizing the appearance of scars dramatically. This is when the real results of the surgery begin to be seen.