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Robert Tornambe, M.D. Headshot

Plastic Surgery by the Season

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A common question asked during consultation for cosmetic surgery; "when is the best time of year to do this surgery?" Is winter a better time for a facelift than say summer, when it is hot and the sun is strongest? When is the best time to schedule breast augmentation or liposuction to allow swelling to resolve so you will look your best in a bathing suit? It is reasonable to try to plan certain cosmetic operations according to the season. December is a very popular time to go under the knife because most people are off for greater chunks of time during the holidays, but there are other options.

I believe to maximize results from cosmetic surgery; it is wise to plan according to the season. It is simply better to undergo certain cosmetic operations at certain times of the year to allow an appropriate period for safe recovery, conceal the swelling and scars, and provide the best alibi to those people who you prefer not to tell. I call this concept "Prep and Deceive"! Planning ahead allows you to make certain incidental changes in things like hair color or makeup to shake things up in your appearance just enough to throw nosey friends off the scent. If you plan to diet first, it is advantageous to plan the surgery at the right time after weight loss (when your weight plateaus and stabilizes) to maximize results. I have provided seasonal recommendations for surgery.

Winter-Mid-December thru March

Universally, this is an ideal time to undergo just about any type of cosmetic surgery, from facelift to liposuction. Cooler weather allows bulkier clothing to conceal swelling and bruising. Turtlenecks, scarves and hats hide the effects of a facelift, eyelid tuck, laser resurfacing, brow-lift and rhinoplasty. Bulky sweaters and trousers camouflage the obvious change in body habitus from breast augmentation, breast reduction, liposuction or tummy-tuck. Rest and recovery is important and it is best to stay out of direct strong sunlight after any of these operations. This is certainly an easier time to do so, even in warmer, southern climates. It is a slow time for many businesses and long holiday weekends contribute further time off. It is the ultimate New Year's resolution.

Advantages

Winter clothing makes it easy to conceal changes
Major Holidays with longer time off; Christmas, Hanukah, and New Years
Long holiday weekends (Martin Luther King, President's Day)
Slow time of year for many businesses
Need to be away from strong direct sunlight
New Year and New You!

Prep and Deceive

Change hair style and/or color to defer attention from facial surgery
Diet and exercise and attain target weight prior to surgery to maximize effects of liposuction, tummy-tuck, and facelift.

Recommended Surgery

Facelift
Rhinoplasty (nosejob)
Blepharoplasty (eyelid tuck)
Brow lift
Body Contouring-Liposuction, abdominoplasty (tummy-tuck), etc.
Breast surgery; reduction, lift, or augmentation
Laser resurfacing

Spring-April thru June

This is another busy and advantageous cosmetic surgery season. People have a mind set to get "work" done this time of year to be ready for summer; the beach, bathing suits, less clothing, summer parties, weddings and vacation. Many of the same advantages enjoyed in winter apply here. Some people prefer to enjoy the holidays and winter sports, and opt to have surgery in the spring. It also gives you a chance to diet and exercise to lose the extra holiday weight. Unfortunately, it is also a plan to fall back on when your ambitious New Year's resolutions fail.

Advantages

Climate still cool enough in many regions to conceal with bulky clothing (northern states)
Kids still in school
Spring holidays and long weekends to recuperate
Final tune-up before summer and bathing suits

Prep and Deceive

Diet and exercise
Change hair style and/or color
Alter make-up routine

Recommended Surgery

Breast surgery
Body contouring
Facial surgery

Summer-July thru August

Enjoy the summer. Not a great time for surgery unless you prefer to use summer vacation time to recuperate. A reasonable option, however, that means staying indoors, in the air conditioned comfort to allow healing to progress. I am frequently asked about recuperating at poolside, or in the backyard in the shade during the summer months. Not a good idea, because the heat and sun can exacerbate prolonged swelling or even bleeding post-op. If you do decided to have surgery during the summer, listen to your surgeon and plan on staying indoors for 1-2 weeks. Many body contouring procedures require abdominal binders or elastic girdles post-op to assist recovery, not very comfortable in the heat. It is a bad time for laser resurfacing because treated areas must not see the sun for at least 6 weeks! Also, immature or new scars should not be exposed to direct sunlight. An immature scar that is allowed to tan, will stay tan, and be more noticeable. http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/beauty/sun-care/sun-affect-healing-scars.htm

Prep and Deceive

Maintenance through diet and exercise

Recommended Surgery

Minor procedures only; Botox, fillers etc.
Previously described larger procedures are an option to utilize vacation to recuperate and hide. Most people are unwilling to give up summer vacation.

Fall-September thru early December

After an active summer, hopefully you are at an ideal weight for maximizing success from body contouring surgery. Procedures during this season allow full recovery for upcoming holiday festivities.

Advantages

Sweater weather to conceal
Look good for holidays
Long weekends to recuperate and hide

Prep and Deceive

Change hair style, color, make-up
Diet and exercise

Surgery

Face and nose
Breast
Body contouring

Cosmetic surgery by the season makes sense for many reasons, so plan accordingly.

To learn more about my concepts regarding beauty, please go to the book's website, www.TheBeautyQuotient.com, or friend me on Facebook.