Seasonal Cosmetic Surgery

There are football and baseball seasons. There are seasons for planting and seasons for skiing. But one thing you wouldn’t expect to be seasonal is cosmetic surgery. Any plastic surgeon, however, will tell you that the spring is the season for breast augmentations and liposuction, and the season for facelifts is right after Christmas. And many other procedures are more common during certain times of the year.

Posted on | Arthur Perry, MD, FACS | Comments ()

There are football and baseball seasons. There are seasons for planting and seasons for skiing. But one thing you wouldn’t expect to be seasonal is cosmetic surgery. Any plastic surgeon, however, will tell you that the spring is the season for breast augmentations and liposuction, and the season for facelifts is right after Christmas.  And many other procedures are more common during certain times of the year. 

The reasons for this seasonality become obvious when you consider each procedure. During the spring, women start thinking about that dreaded bathing suit.  They try them on and might notice a little fat that wasn’t there last year, or they might wish they filled it out better in certain areas. Since it takes a month or so to look reasonable in a bathing suit after cosmetic surgery, by July 4, if the surgery hasn’t been performed yet, many women wait until after the summer. 

When it comes to facial surgery, like face or eyelid lifts, fall or winter surgery is most common. While you should be able to face the public two weeks after a facelift, you might not really want to. You’ll have residual swelling and even a little bruising up to a month after the lift, and there’s always a chance of some odd lumps and bumps. It’s a lot easier to wear scarves or heavier makeup when it’s cold outside. When planning for cosmetic surgery, you might be pleasantly surprised at how fast you recover, but 5-10% of people have one thing or another that slows down their recovery. When planning out your schedule, you really have to plan for the worst-case scenario.

Recovery from larger procedures takes longer than recovery from smaller procedures. And older women take longer to bounce back than younger ones. And, of course, if you have significant medical problems, you have a much higher chance of a complication after surgery; you and your surgeon may decide to forgo surgery and improve your appearance with less invasive procedures that are less demanding on your body.

While some office procedures like Botox and Restylane are easier to do and really don’t have seasonality, not all types of procedures are suited for the summer. Chemical peels require strict avoidance of sun, so unless you live in a cave or are a vampire, you might consider having your peel during the winter months. If you live in California or Florida, your solution might just be a tube of SPF 30 sunscreen with zinc oxide.

Blog written by Arthur Perry, MD, FACS
Dr. Perry has over 2 decades of experience as a clinical surgeon and has been named to the “Best Doctors in the NY Area” book...