Saying Goodbye to Summer May Mean Saying Hello to the New You!
One of the most common questions asked during a prospective patient’s consultation for cosmetic surgery; “when is the best time to have my procedure done?” While some patients don’t have the luxury of choosing the best time of year based on our recommendations, there are those who do, and therefore look to us for guidance when determining when to have surgery. One thing that rings true for most is that summer tends to be a less than ideal time of year to pursue elective surgery. Now that summer has passed this might just be the perfect time for you to start planning your cosmetic surgery.
Take a look at our seasonal cosmetic surgery outline below for helpful information about when to have surgery.
Summer : June – September (through Labor Day)
Some people have vacation time over the summer (i.e. those working in the education system) and prefer to use this extended period off to have surgery, however for most this is not the case. It’s fair to say the vast majority want to enjoy all that summer has to offer and prefer scheduling their cosmetic surgery during another time of year.
Depending on the procedure, it is likely you will be advised to recuperate indoors for 1-2 weeks, except for follow up visits and other quick errands. During recovery it is best to avoid heat and sun exposure, as well as swimming in pools, lakes, oceans, etc. Most physical activity will be restricted as well. Procedures such as facelift, neck lift, liposuction, tummy tuck, gynecomastia will require you to wear a compression garment, which can be hard to hide in the summer and can be quite uncomfortable in the heat. It’s of the utmost importance any scars resulting from surgery be kept out of direct sunlight for at least 6 weeks. Sun exposure to the incisions will likely cause the scars to turn red or dark in color and will be more noticeable. If you want to have a laser resurfacing treatment, summer is definitely not the best time to have this done. You will be required to stay completely out of the sun for 6 weeks or longer and the appearance of your face can be quite unsightly and itchy while the skin flakes off. Non-surgical treatments such as Botox and injectable fillers can easily be done over the summer months with no downtime and no considerable restrictions.
If summer is the best time for you to schedule your cosmetic surgery, as long as you understand the restrictions and timeframes for what you can and cannot do during recovery, then by all means have it done! For everyone else, enjoy your summer! We’ll see you next season!
Fall: September – Mid-December
Early fall/winter can still be a little challenging for some people, especially those with children going back to school. The beginning of the school year can be a tough transition after summer break with a new schedule, back to school night, sports, and other meetings and activities. Luckily, it doesn’t take too long to adjust and this can end up being a great time to schedule your cosmetic surgery. One major benefit of having a procedure done during the fall is to allow for full recovery before all of the holiday festivities that take place mid-December through New Years. Weather does start to cool off into the fall months, which means more clothing options for hiding swelling, bruising and compression garments. Wearing long sleeves and pants won’t look out of place this time of year.
Winter: Mid-December – March
The winter season is a very popular time of year to have cosmetic surgery. The cooler weather allows you to wear bulkier clothing to conceal the effects of surgery and compression garments. Utilizing scarves, hats, turtlenecks, and sunglasses help hide swelling and bruising resulting from a facelift, neck lift, upper or lower eyelid surgery, temple lift, fat transfer or rhinoplasty. Sweaters, pants, and jackets can help mask changes from breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction, gynecomastia, liposuction, tummy tuck or a mommy makeover. You certainly couldn’t use the majority of these cover-up tactics during the summer months without drawing attention to yourself. Botox and other injectables are in high demand this time of year. With so many holiday parties and events, patients want to look their very best.
Another benefit of scheduling surgery this time of year is that many businesses slow down making it easier to get time off approved. The holidays (Christmas, Hanukah, New Years, Martin Luther King, President’s day) also provide additional days off work, which might be able to be combined with personal time off, resulting in enough time to have your surgery and get through your initial recovery period. With some cosmetic procedures taking a week off might be all you need, however this will depend on what you have done and the type of work you do. Procedures such as a tummy tuck or mommy makeover will usually require more time off work. If you have a face procedure such as facelift, neck lift, fat transfer, rhinoplasty or eyelid surgery you should be able to return to work after one week, however there may still be visible signs of swelling and bruising. If you don’t have a physical job that requires heavy lifting, you can also return to work within a week of having breast augmentation, breast lift or breast reduction.
Spring: April – Mid-June
Spring is another popular season to have cosmetic surgery. Some people are either too busy during the winter holiday season, waiting for their IRS refund check, or need time to diet and exercise due to extra weight put on during the holidays. There is also a big surge from people wanting to have their surgery so they will be healed and ready for summer. Lastly, spring break offers some people another opportunity for possible time off. Fortunately in many parts of the country the weather is still cool enough to offer some of the cover-up tactics mentioned in the fall and winter season above.
We recommend compiling a list of recovery questions to go over with your plastic surgeon during your consultation. This will provide you with the information you need to determine the best time of year to have your cosmetic surgery.
How much time will I need to take off from work? (let your plastic surgeon know if you have a desk job or one that requires physical activity or frequent air travel)
Do I need someone to take care of me? If so, how long?
Will I need to wear a compression garment? If so, how long?
What is the average recovery time for this procedure?
Note: If you have an event, vacation, special occasion, or anything that requires you to be fully healed by a specific date, let your plastic surgeon know, so he/she can give you the maximum recovery time needed to be fully healed. What should I expect in terms of swelling and bruising? What is the worst case scenario in terms of how long it will last?
What can I do to ensure the quickest recovery possible? (i.e. homeopathic recommendations, ice, certain foods or drink, etc.)
When can I expect to look socially acceptable? (meaning when can I go out and about without worrying about people noticing I had something done)
Note: Some patients are open with their procedure and don’t need to completely hide what they’ve had done, while others are extremely private and want to be absolutely certain nobody knows they had cosmetic surgery. Properly communicating this with your plastic surgeon is important so he/she can properly guide you on the time frame needed.
Is there anything else I should know about that will help me determine when to have my procedure?