Plastic surgery is performed on an elective basis. There are considerations regarding timing of plastic surgery that may help to optimize outcomes. These points may be helpful for those planning to undergo aesthetic surgery:
Timing of plastic surgery must ensure adequate recovery time
It is important to allow adequate recovery time after plastic surgery. Anticipated time off work will be discussed pre-operatively, which will vary based on the type of plastic surgery procedure and specific job responsibilities. Most patients are able to return to office-based work or school within a week of surgery. Following facial procedures, patients may opt to take an extra week if possible for bruising and swelling to settle further. Timing of plastic surgery should also take exercise, sports, and physical training into account. Exercise should be avoided following most types of plastic surgery for 4-6 weeks. If training for a race or competition, it is recommended to defer plastic surgery until activity restrictions may be followed. Surgical planning is also affected by the time of year for many patients. Summer is often a less popular time for many individuals given increased activity level and travel plans. For others, teachers in particular, summer is a desirable time for plastic surgery given time off work for recovery. Patients often schedule plastic surgery procedures before vacation time to maximize recovery, for example, undergoing surgery the week before winter vacation or spring break.
Achieve healthy BMI before plastic surgery
Before aesthetic breast surgery, tummy tuck, and other body contouring procedures, it is recommended to achieve a healthy BMI. Weight should be stable for a few months pre-operatively. If significant weight fluctuations occur following plastic surgery, surgical results may be compromised. Redundant skin or soft tissue may recur on the abdomen. Breasts may gain or lose volume and ptosis (droopiness) may recur. Plastic surgery is not useful for weight loss, rather it may be an effective technique for body contouring and targeting problem areas unresponsive to diet and exercise.
Timing of plastic surgery must ensure patients are well-informed
The most appropriate candidate for plastic surgery is well-educated about the procedure. The decision to undergo elective plastic surgery should not be made impulsively, which may increase the risk of dissatisfaction with aesthetic outcome. A patient must understand surgical risks, alternatives, limitations, and realistic outcomes. Plastic surgery may not be recommended for patients shortly after major life events (e.g. divorce, losses) or psychological crises, which may affect outcomes and patient satisfaction.
Pregnancies affect timing of plastic surgery
If pregnancies are planned within the near future, plastic surgery should generally be deferred, particularly for breast and body procedures. Although a woman may still carry a healthy full-term pregnancy following tummy tuck, surgical results will be compromised. It is recommended to defer surgery until achieving a healthy and stable BMI for at least a few months. Aesthetic breast surgery should also be deferred until several months following pregnancies and breastfeeding. If pregnancies are not planned in the near future, aesthetic breast surgery may be performed. It is important to understand that breast size and position will change following future pregnancies and further surgery may be required based on clinical presentation.
Please contact us if considering plastic surgery in the Toronto area to schedule a consultation with female plastic surgeon, Dr. Stephanie Power.