What’s the best time to undergo plastic surgery?

One of the biggest benefits of having a cosmetic, rather than medical procedure is that you can plan a convenient time frame for your treatment and recovery.

Thinking ahead not only means you can fit the surgery around the rest of your life, but you can consider the best time of year for your treatment, as environmental factors can have a big impact on your recuperation.

Winter

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 are 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 and New Years
  • Long holiday weekends
  • Slow time of year for many businesses
  • Need to be away from strong direct sunlight
  • New Year and New You!

Spring

This is another busy and advantageous cosmetic surgery season. People have a mindset 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 want 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

Summer

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 decide 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.

Not recommended season.

Fall

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