This Article Has Been Medically Approved By

Dr. George H. Sanders

Patients frequently ask me when is the best time to do their surgery. What do I say?

The truth is that almost any time is a good time. If you ask patients, though, the most popular times are the summer and year-end. In the summer, students and teachers are out of school and can afford the time required for recovery. Parents are free of school related responsibilities and many opt for surgery then as well. Finally, many patients are able to take vacation time in the summer that works well for their recovery.

The end of the year is also popular. Patients have met their insurance deductibles and are able to better afford those procedures covered by health insurance. Others receive monetary Christmas gifts that allow them to afford plastic surgery procedures at year-end. Again, school aged children and teachers have vacation time around Christmas and New Year’s, and some working patients can get time off near year-end and combine it with the Christmas and New Year’s holidays to allow for an extended recovery time.

From a medical viewpoint, laser resurfacing procedures done in the fall or winter will have months that follow when sunlight is less intense. This allows for fewer problems related to darkening of the skin after laser treatment. Cooler temperatures in the fall and winter make it easier to tolerate snugly fitting garments worn after liposuction, facelift, and tummy tuck procedures, although air conditioning can create “year-round winter” if used aggressively. I also find that there are fewer bleeding problems after surgery if done in cooler weather. Swelling also tends to be less in the cooler months that makes for less discomfort and a more rapid recovery. Many patients will also do “body” procedures in the spring to get ready to present their “best look” in summer outfits and bathing suits.

The reality is that patients have surgery at all times during the year and the results are usually excellent regardless of the time of year. Having adequate time for recovery and following postoperative instructions almost always allows for excellent results, irrespective of the season.

For further information, please contact my office.