When planning for a surgical cosmetic procedure, your patient has lots to consider; where to have it, which surgeon to choose and, maybe just as importantly, when to have it.
Any procedure which entails going under the knife is going to need a certain amount of preparation, as well as downtime. With our never-ending social schedules of weddings, christenings and parties, as well as a desire to make the most of the UK summer sunshine, just when should they start preparing and plan cosmetic procedures?
We take a look at which seasons offer the best opportunities when it comes to setting a date for an upcoming treatment.
Out of all the seasons, winter has the least amount of drawbacks when scheduling a surgical treatment. For those who wish to conceal the healing process or their newly acquired assets, winter is the ideal season for covering up. Scarves and turtleneck tops can hide neck and chest treatments, and woolly hats conceal the full effect of facial treatments and hair transplants.
Also, some procedures will come with downtime that means patients must stay out of direct strong sunlight. This is easier to do during winter.
It’s also an ideal time for those not wanting to take too much time out of work for recovery; many businesses shut down for the festive period, allowing time to heal.
Spring is another good time to schedule in cosmetic surgical procedures. With summer on the horizon and many social engagements scheduled in, spring is the opportune time to get the treatment done before the busy period kicks in.
Many people will also be focusing on how they will look in swimsuits or less clothing during the impending holiday season, which can spur them on to booking in for treatments, such as body contouring, a couple of months before hand. It also gives patients a chance to diet and exercise to lose any excess weight, which may be essential for treatment.
This may not be the most ideal time for patients to plan cosmetic procedures, unless patients wish to use their summer vacation time to recuperate. Patients may query whether they can recover at the poolside, or in the garden in the shade during the summer days but this is not recommended. Post-op, the heat and sun can aggravate prolonged swelling or even bleeding.
For those who do opt for summer surgery, it is imperative they follow advice on staying indoors for around 1-2 weeks, depending on treatment. For example, liposuction procedures require abdominal binders to assist recovery, which would not be very comfortable in the heat.
There are some treatments that simply cannot be carried out in the summer, such as laser resurfacing. This is because treated areas must not be under direct sunlight for at least six weeks. Additionally, any immature or new scars should also not be exposed to direct sunlight.
Procedures carried out during this season allow full recovery for the upcoming holiday festivities.
But for those who want to have a winter treatment still, autumn is the perfect time to plan cosmetic procedures, book that initial consultation and start the ball rolling. For patients looking to use the winter holidays for their downtime, they need to be thinking of it now in order to plan the time needed for the consultation process, planning the surgery and scheduling a date.
The colder months are likely to be the best bet when it comes to choosing the right time to have a procedure. But of course, just because winter ‘ticks many boxes’ for being the ideal time, it doesn’t mean summer is completely off limits for your patients. Just bear in mind when advising them that they may need to make some social sacrifices to allow their body to recover properly. Encourage them to discuss timing with you to help them identify what works best with their lifestyle when they decide to plan cosmetic procedures.