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When Is the Best Time for Cosmetic Surgery?

cosmetic surgery

The best time for cosmetic surgery is when you have the time and support to recover. Each operation that I perform has different timing in terms of average recovery.  Things that require pulling or stretching of muscles like tummy tucks, for example, will need a longer recovery than skin tightening procedures such as breast lift. In addition, certain patients may require more time to recover than others, even if they have both had the same procedure. 

The Rules of Thumb

While each patient is different, I offer some general rules of thumb: 

Plan Ahead 

If you want to enjoy your figure in the summer, have your surgery in the winter or fall. I see an influx of breast augmentation patients just before the summer each year. Implants, however, take three to six months or more to settle post-op, so patients don’t have the natural augmentation they are looking for until after summer.  Patients who come in earlier in the year will look more settled and natural by the time summer comes. 

Don’t Do Surgery Right Before a Major Life Event 

Each year I see the bride who wants breast implants two weeks before the wedding or her mother who may want a facelift. While I would love to be the physician for these patients it makes no sense to have surgery just before an important life event that may be affected by your need to recover. Plan at least six months ahead if you can. 

Give Yourself at Least a Week Off for All Procedures

It is better to be pleasantly surprised and need less recovery time than to need more time and not have it. Not having enough recovery time can be physically and emotionally taxing, and can affect the outcome of the cosmetic procedure. Thus, I go into detail about the expected average recovery for each procedure in consultation. Some patients may take less than average amounts of time to recover but some may take more. Better to be on the safe side and have more than adequate time to properly heal

best time for surgery

Have Support at Home 

My clientele is made up of healthy people.  As such, I perform most of my surgeries outpatient. It is good for them to have a friend or family member help out while they are recovering. It is my firm belief that hospitals are full of illness and harmful bacteria and are not sterile enough for both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic operations.  I feel strongly that my patients get better care in a cleaner and healthier environment when they are at home with the support of a spouse or loved one. 

Stay in the Area for a While

In a perfect world, my patients would live next door for a week following surgery.  While not realistic, I at least want to have my patients in the vicinity.  Once in a while, I have a patient who plans to hop on a plane and recover in an exotic location. It is just as important for me to be available to you after surgery as before in case modifications or alterations need to be made, or in case the healing is not happening as it should.  Stick around for a while. You will thank yourself later. 

Stop Smoking 

Without a doubt, this is the toughest of the recommendations and the hardest for patients.  Smoking exponentially increases the risks of healing problems or infections. While not everyone is able to stop, it is one of my strongest recommendations and requires the most forethought for those addicted. 

Schedule Further Ahead If You Have Medical Problems  

My goal is to perform your surgery as safely as possible. For patients with medical issues, we need time to get appropriate testing and clearance where necessary. It can take more time to get these evaluations and results, but having them is necessary to ensure your safety and the effectiveness of cosmetic surgery. 

Thinking of Getting Cosmetic Surgery?

If you would like help in safely planning the procedure you are considering, please don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation.

April 15, 2010 11:52 pm
Categories: Blog, Body, Cosmetic Surgery, Plastic Surgery

Written by Dr. Adam Tattelbaum

Dr. Adam Tattelbaum is a highly skilled and compassionate plastic surgeon with over two decades of experience.

Double-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery, Dr. Tattelbaum believes in providing personalized patient care and customizes his treatment plans to suit the individual.

Dr. Tattelbaum's candid and realistic approach has earned him recognition, not only with his patients but in the Top Doctor lists of the Washingtonian and Bethesda magazines. He is also a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, a mark of distinction in the field of cosmetic surgery.

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