As seen in the Newcastle Herald
Patients will often ask what time of the year is a good time to have their surgery. “Is Winter a good time?” “Should I have my operation in Spring?” The seasons can play a role in when you chose to have your operation. The simplest consideration relates to recovery after your operation. Recovery after major operations to your body, such as a tummy tuck may be easier in the Winter. Here’s three reasons why:
- Cold weather allows you to Rug Up & Conceal
In the Winter months you can “rug up” a bit. Warm layers of clothing can allow you to disguise the fact that you have had surgery. When warmer weather comes, you can reveal the new you and confess “Yes, I was very good with my diet and exercise over the Winter months!” Having to wear supportive garments for a period after your operation can be a bit less comfortable in the heat of Summer, as well as being harder to conceal in summer fashion.
- Winter Hibernation & Less Sun Exposure
We are generally less active during the Winter months, allowing you to rest and take it easy whilst recovering from a Winter plastic surgery procedure without missing out on too much!
Since days are shorter and sun rays are less intense in Winter, it makes it easier to stay out of the harmful rays and potential sunburn of the new skin that is trying to recover after surgery.
- Enjoy the Summer Sun & Activities
Importantly we want to be fully ready to enjoy our Summer, so we want to be fully recovered after surgery. This means a little planning ahead. It is not unusual to realise that Summer is just around the corner and time is running out to have something done. There always seems to be a rush of patients wanting surgery around Spring time.
A classic example would be a patient contemplating breast augmentation. If you anticipate an active Summer at the beach or on the water, I would suggest that you have the surgery well in anticipation of Spring so that your recovery period is over before the highlights of Summer begin.
Winter is a good time to have your surgery so you are recovered ready for Summer. We don’t want to rug up during Summer. We want to come out of hibernation and enjoy our regions fantastic climate. We live in a climate where light clothing is all we need most days from October through to April. We want to feel good and look our best in our new summer dresses and new swimwear, whilst enjoying our Summers outside, at the water’s edge, on boats and in the evenings.
So Winter is an appropriate time to have surgery if you want to be in full action for Summer.
Other effects on Timing of Surgery:
The most important factor however, for any patient considering a cosmetic operation, is that you should have the operation when you feel you want it and you feel ready to have it. If this basic rule is followed then an improvement to satisfy your desires can be expected. Sometimes I advise patients to hold on and not proceed with an operation now, but to allow their circumstances to develop a little further, so that a real and evident benefit can be perceived.
There are however a lot of other intricacies involved in the timing of operations.
The age of a patient is often a consideration. I believe that cosmetic surgery for adolescents is generally not an appropriate thing. On the other hand old age is not necessarily a barrier to surgery either. Some cosmetic plastic surgery procedures such as breast reductions and tummy tucks can considerably assist the lifestyle of older people. The overriding factor for these patients is their fitness to undergo surgery.
Patients also ask me about timing with respect to events in their lives. Sometimes they don’t actually ask but I pick up on events which will be influential.
Functions, such as weddings and anticipated holidays, may need to be taken into account. Recovery periods after an operation can be as long as eight to ten weeks. This means that the surgical procedures need to be performed well in advance, if the mother of the bride, for example, is to look her best at the wedding, or indeed the bride is to have a comfortable honeymoon/holiday.
School holidays can present important timing factors for both mums and their children too. For your child, the last week of school, before the holidays may be a good time to have their prominent ears repaired. Once again Winter presents the opportunity to wear a beanie post-operatively. Mums need to work out how best to organise an operation around school holidays too. The demands you have to meet as CEO of the family will need to be taken into account.
I also believe stressful events need to be considered. I would suggest that a patient who has had significant stress in their immediate lives, particularly stress within a relationship, should take the time to ensure that this stress is not going to impact on their procedure or recovery. If it is, then I would recommend that they perhaps hold back with the procedure until the stress is largely resolved.
So timing is important if you are considering cosmetic plastic surgery. I feel the seasons, such as Winter, can have an influence on when you have your surgery, as can a whole variety of things. Don’t be afraid to ask about how your surgery can be best fitted into your life. Most importantly of all, make the surgery itself be the main determinant of both IF and WHEN you have it.