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Don J. Fontana, MD, PA
Practical Timing of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery
Don Fontana, MD

Practical Timing of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

Before we know it, spring will be here and the social events that we want to look our best for too. Graduations, weddings, anniversaries and beach vacations are just a few of the social functions that occur yearly. At each of these events, friends and relatives often comment on “how good” a particular family member may look for their age, while others have weathered the previous year less favorably. For a few health conscious and genetically fortunate individuals, maintaining body shape and aging may not be an issue. For the rest of us, it is a constant battle to maintain ones weight, shape and limit the number of aging wrinkles.
Aging is not a constant process like the regular ticking of a clock. Rather, individuals may not age at all for many months or years, and then suddenly, within a very short period, age dramatically. In other words, we age in “spurts”. The cause of the “downhill slide,” in my experience is almost always associated with a trauma and stress of some sort. Family issues including illness, finances, children, job insecurity and unemployment inevitably take a toll on an individual and affect the aging process.
Many patients confronted with this problem are seen by plastic surgeons for a “quick fix” treatment prior to a major social event. They are often disappointed when they are told that they have not allowed enough recovery time prior to the special event to show the benefit of their cosmetic procedure. The guidelines below will aid you in considering when you might consider having a particular procedure performed. These guidelines are approximate and your plastic surgeons recommendations may differ slightly.

Non-Invasive Procedures

Botox 5-7 days prior to the event
Fillers of Restylane, Hylaform-Plus, Radiesse, Captique 7-10 days
Microdermabrasion 7 days
Laser Hair Removal 5-7 days depending on the treated area
Chemical Peel/Laser Resurfacing 4-6 weeks depending on type
Thermage 5-7 days
Laser treatment of facial spider veins 7-14 days
Laser treatment or injections of spider veins of the legs 4-8 weeks
Laser treatment of facial pigmented lesions 2-3 weeks
Laser treatment of tattoo 3-4 months following last treatment

Surgical Procedures

Breast Augmentation 2-3 weeks
Abdominoplasty 4-6 weeks
Liposuction 3 months
Face-lift 4 weeks
Eyelid Surgery 2-4 weeks
Surgical excision of facial lesions 2-4 weeks depending on size and location

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