There’s a lot to think about when you’re booking your plastic surgery appointment. From finances to work schedules, to large events and seasonal holidays, there are plenty of factors to consider. We often get questions about when’s the best time to schedule a surgical procedure. Although there’s hardly ever the “perfect” time for anything in life, we can recommend times of the year when healing is easier and more convenient.
Seasons of Plastic Surgery
Here’s a breakdown of the best times of year to get the procedure you’ve always wanted.
Spring is the time of year for growth or starting anew. Fittingly, it’s a time for people who want a new beginning or a fresh look. We recommend spring as a good time to have procedures for looks you are wanting to achieve in the summer. For example, to prep for your bathing suit, summer parties, wedding season, and more.
“Breast procedures are perfect to schedule March through May as people get ready for summer vacation,” Dr. Bajaj says. However, you should be aware that it will be at least 3-4 weeks after your surgery before you will be able to swim in a pool or ocean.
Also, it’s cooler in the spring, especially in Oklahoma, making it easy to conceal any swelling with layers. There’s also a couple of weekend holidays sprinkled in the spring that may make it easier to plan some days off out of the office.
Unless you plan on spending your summer indoors in the air conditioning, it’s normally not the best time to have plastic surgery. In fact, the summer heat can make wearing post-surgical garments uncomfortable. Also, you wouldn’t want to expose fresh scars to extreme sunlight, such as sitting poolside on a hot day. As a scar heals naturally, the surgical incision becomes a fine red line at about six to eight weeks after surgery. Any direct sunlight on the incision can permanently affect its appearance.
We encourage you to have your plastic surgery early enough, so you can enjoy your summer. However, if you need a little pick-me-up during the summer, we recommend minimally invasive cosmetic procedures such as Botox®, fillers, or MiraDry.
If you’re planning a procedure before visiting friends and family for the holidays, the fall is the time to do it. The weather is also cooler in the fall, so post-surgical garments are more tolerable. Many patients also have extra time during fall break or the holidays to allow for recovery!
For many plastic surgery procedures, winter is the best time to have them because you can use the colder weather to your advantage.
“People like to do liposuction and body contouring in the winter because of the compression garments that they have to wear,” Dr. Bajaj says.
One example is the clothes you can wear to cover the obvious body changes such as breast augmentation, breast reduction, liposuction, or tummy tuck.
During the winter, activities slow down as well, making it easier to take time off work or have time to relax. “Facial procedures are more common in January through March when the holiday parties have slowed down,” Dr. Bajaj says. Scarves and warm winter hats can also help hide the effects of a facelift, eyelid tuck, laser resurfacing, brow lift, and rhinoplasty.
Time Your Surgery Around Large Life Events
While many of us may want surgery before a big event, we have to remember to allow enough time for the process — you wouldn’t want to schedule a procedure a month before a wedding. You must plan months in advance to consult with your surgeon, book your appointment, have the procedure, and, most importantly, allow your body to heal properly.
Think about what you’ll be doing at your special event as well. After most surgeries, we recommend our patients steer clear of soaking in any water (like the lake or a hot tub) for several weeks to decrease the risk of infection.
Healing Time Frame Guide
For most procedures, most patients feel comfortable going out in public after just a couple of weeks. But results continue to improve long after you’re back to full activity, and you may not be completely healed for several months.
Healing depends on what procedure you have and how you heal. Every patient is different and so is each surgical experience. But for a basic idea of the healing process, here are some time frames.
- For a breast augmentation, we recommend one month to resume strenuous activities – like running, weight lifting, working out – but most patients will be driving and back at work within 3-5 days.
- For liposuction, while you may be back at work within a week, it will take several months for the swelling to decrease and the tissues to soften. This means that you may notice changes in how your clothes drape to your new contours for several months.
- For a tummy tuck or facelift, most patients will be back at work within two weeks. However, the full resumption of all activities (like working out) may take longer.
No matter what plastic surgery you’re wanting to get this year–planning is key. We want you to have a relaxing and proper healing experience, rather than being uncomfortable at an event that you’ve been looking forward to all year.
We would love to sit down with you and discuss full timeframes and recommendations for optimal healing with you during a consultation. Contact us today for more information