Why winter is the best time for cosmetic surgery?
As the practice of cosmetic surgery has evolved, so has the cutting-edge technology and techniques behind it. This means that surgery has become less invasive and healing is easier than ever before. Even still, deciding to have cosmetic surgery is a big and very personal decision and should be handled with a great deal of consideration. Along with deciding who the best cosmetic surgeon is for your surgery, determining when to schedule your procedure is also very important. Dr. Jason Tomsic, a triple board-certified cosmetic surgeon and Medical Director of The Skin Center in Pittsburgh, PA, recommends winter as the ideal time to get cosmetic surgery for several reasons.
It’s important to avoid the sun after cosmetic surgery
After the busy holiday season winds down, the new year is a great time for a fresh start. By electing to have your surgery during a time of year with less sunlight, your body has a better opportunity for an easy recovery. “Facial procedures, like our signature QuickLift facelift or EyeQ eye lift, are definitely ideal cosmetic procedures to get in the wintertime,” he says, “because anytime you have bruising on your skin, the sun can impact that and cause pigmentation that’s difficult to get rid of. This is also true for liposuction and other procedures on the body, such as a breast augmentation or a tummy tuck.” Another thing to consider: anytime you have an incision, there’s new, fresh skin that’s healing, so you’ll want to keep that out of the sun as well, as it’s prone to sun damage. “It’s important to keep out of the sun for six months,” says Dr. Tomsic. “That doesn’t mean you should cover that area entirely for six months—you’ll just want to be sure to wear sunscreen that’s SPF 35 or higher. You’ll also want to keep your bruises out of the sun until they’ve fully healed, otherwise you might get dark brown pigmentation that can be hard to minimize.”
It’s easier to hide out while you heal in the winter
Many people prefer to be discreet about the fact that they’re having cosmetic surgery. If this is your case, scheduling your surgery during the holiday season gives you the added bonus of more days off from work, allowing for greater recovery time while remaining stealthily under the radar. Also, once the holidays have passed, social activities tend to die down for a few months. “In the colder parts of this country, people just aren’t out and about as much,” says Dr. Tomsic. “Most cosmetic procedures have a healing period of several months, with a return to normal activities typically four-to-six weeks after surgery, so if you had your surgery in the winter, you have plenty of time to hide out until the spring comes around and you can again comfortably live your life however you like,” says Dr. Tomsic. You’ll resurface amongst your social scene with a refreshed face and or body, but since it’s been a while since you saw people, they’ll be less likely to wonder what happened to you.”
Loose clothing is always helpful
It’s also easier in the colder months to hide bandages under bulky sweaters, billowy pants and large scarves. “Following liposuction or a tummy tuck, two of our most popular procedures, you have to wear compression garments for three months, which is a lot easier to do in the winter.” explains Dr. Tomsic. “It’s not that you can’t get these procedures in the summer. Lots of people choose to do that. It’s just easier to hide under a comfortable sweatsuit, as opposed to a more revealing sundress you might wear in the warmer months,” he adds. Best of all, we are in the golden age of athleisure. Joggers and hoodies have never been more fashionable, so take advantage with a few sets of comfy-chic sweats to look, and more importantly feel, your best after surgery.
And you can still go on spring break.
Not the type who likes to hibernate all winter long? By all means, take your spring break trip, but understand that you might have some limitations, like not being able to go swimming or do any strenuous physical activity like water skiing, tennis, or pickleball. Although some surgeons don’t want their patients flying on airplanes for a stretch of time after surgery, this is often not the case with cosmetic procedures. In fact, many of The Skin Center’s patients fly in from all over the country for their surgery. “They trust us to handle their aesthetics with great results and our private surgery center offers hospital-level care,” Dr. Tomsic explains, “we do typically ask our patients to stay in town for about a week after a surgical procedure, so we can monitor and support their early stages of healing. After that time has passed, there’s no reason why a patient couldn’t fly after almost any cosmetic procedure.”
In terms of a beach trip, you want to be sure to give yourself at least a couple of months after your surgery to make sure that your incisions have healed fully before doing anything like jumping into the ocean. This is particularly true if you had a procedure like a breast lift or a tummy tuck. Dr. Tomsic says, “If your surgery takes place three months before a trip, you should nothing to worry about.”
That said, there are some ways to speed up recovery
We know it’s easy to feel impatient during a slow healing process. What’s most important is to closely follow your cosmetic surgeon’s directions regarding aftercare. Excessive exercise while recovering is always a big no-no. What you can do, however, is be sure to keep your body moving. Going for a nice walk or lightly stretching your muscles can be beneficial to your recovery time. You will want your doctor to approve the timeline, as many surgical procedures require some amount of immediate bedrest.
It’s also important to stay hydrated, get plenty of rest and maintain a balanced diet. Your body is counting on all its reserves to make sure its recovery time goes as smoothly as possible. Lastly, a follow-up appointment is always a good idea. After any surgical cosmetic procedure, it’s important for the doctor to see how your body is healing. It can sometimes be difficult to see immediate results following surgery due to swelling. Your surgeon will be able to better ascertain how the healing is going for you.
Summer bodies (and rejuvenated faces) are made in the winter
Whether you’re considering liposuction, breast augmentation, a facelift or a tummy tuck, winter is the best time to get cosmetic surgery because it gives you more control and privacy over your healing and timeline. Want to know more? Schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified surgeons today.