Park Cities Cosmetic Surgery

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Saying, “I Do” to Cosmetic Enhancement Before the Big Day

Here comes the bride. Congratulations. The ring is on and the date is set. One of the biggest days of your life is now circled on the calendar. You want to look your best. But what if you are considering a bit more change to your appearance than can be realized with a low calorie diet and a facial? Do you have enough time to seek a more permanent improvement through aesthetic surgery? At Park Cities Cosmetic Surgery we want to help you plan in advance to be camera ready. Often patients are surprised to learn that even minimally invasive procedures require some downtime. No one wants the calendar to dictate a lesser procedure with lesser results because time wasn’t budgeted from the beginning. Even fewer want to imagine taking a risk by underestimating the time it will take to heal—and photoshopping themselves into the family album post-event.

Here are some of the most requested procedures desired by brides, bridesmaids, and mothers ranked by how much time it might take to look your best on that special day.

TIMELINE: 6 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING

Rhinoplasty, also known as nose reshaping is not a long recovery. The bruising resolves within the first couple of weeks for most patients, however it does take some time for the swelling to go down. The majority of swelling resolves by the 2-3 month mark, but subtle refinements continue through the first year. Best to give your new profile a chance to heal for a few months.

TIMELINE: 4-6 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING

Considerations for breast and body surgery: Keep in mind that any change to your body shape and/or size will influence how your dress will fit, so plan dress choice and fittings accordingly.

Breast Reduction requires a bit more healing than breast augmentation or a breast lift. Reducing the size and reshaping the breasts essentially involves a lift but we are also removing quite a bit of tissue. Some reduction patients experience delayed healing especially if they are overweight, so this procedure should be done at least 4 months ahead of the event.

Tummy Tucks and 360 Trunk Liposuction should be done on average at least 3 months before your first dress fitting. The best tummy tucks include liposuction and whereas an abdominoplasty patient will be back to normal in about 6 weeks, it is the liposuction recovery that requires more time and attention. A compression garment must be worn for 12 weeks at which point the swelling almost completely resolves. Not everyone needs a lot of liposuction, but conservatively speaking, it is prudent to give yourself about 4 months before the first fitting.

TIMELINE: 3-4 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING

Considerations for breast and body surgery: Keep in mind that any change to your body shape and/or size will influence how your dress will fit, so plan dress choice and fittings accordingly.

Browlift recovery depends upon the type of browlift that is performed. The main factor is the degree of lift necessary which is dictated by how low the brow is and the strength of the muscles contributing to the heavy brow. An endoscopic browlift is recommended for moderate brow descent and involves smaller incisions and less downtime. A traditional browlift is necessary for a more powerful correction. Both approaches involve swelling and bruising for at least 3 weeks. Most browlift incisions are hidden in the hair making them very easy to hide after 2-3 weeks. If a hairline browlift is used, it takes 6-7 weeks until incisions are not noticeable but during this time the incision may be concealed with make-up. By 3 months, you can be confident in your new look.

Lower Eyelid Lifts are more challenging than upper eyelid lifts and not all surgeons use the same technique. When I perform a lower eyelid lift, I re-suspend the muscle and reposition the fat behind it to create a youthful, smooth blend at the lid/cheek junction. This is a more comprehensive approach that requires a bit more downtime than simply tightening the skin and removing the fat, but it gives the patient a more aesthetic, long lasting result, avoiding the risk of a hollow looking orbit. Most likely it will be at least 8 weeks to completely heal and look your best.

Otoplasty, or ear reshaping is a pretty straightforward procedure. An incision is made behind the ear so that skin and muscle removed. The cartilage is reshaped and sutured to bring the ears back. The issue is not so much the operation as the postoperative instructions. A headband must be worn for 6 weeks until your sutures are completely healed or the former position of the ears could theoretically recur. It’s best to give yourself time to heal and not risk the sutures breaking.

Facelift or Necklift are not as intense recovery times as most patients expect. Even if you bruise easily, you are only looking at approximately 3 weeks before makeup will hide most bruises. Swelling continues to subside for about 2 months. If a patient comes in and requests a necklift alone, that is a possibility but there are tradeoffs. To lift a neck and not address an aging face can actually accentuate the appearance of sagging in the midface. Likewise, to perform a face and necklift and ignore the eyes might not be the best aesthetic approach. In fact, more recovery is often necessary with eyelid surgery than there is with a facelift. Facial Fat Grafting is occasionally done in conjunction with a facelift to address loss of volume. This should not increase overall downtime. Ultimately, it is completely up to the patient once they understand the pros and cons of isolated procedures and there are indeed exceptions where a necklift alone or fat grafting alone is the best plan considering how that particular patient is aging. By 3 months, you should be fully recovered with minimal to no telltale signs that something was “done.”

Breast Augmentation is one of the most common pre-wedding procedures. Recovery necessarily involves time for the implants to “drop.” At first the implants sit a bit high and how quickly they “settle” depends upon several factors–size of implant and strength of the muscle and support tissue in the upper body. On average the majority of settling occurs during the first 2-3 weeks. The vast majority can count on their new breasts being event ready by 4 weeks. As noted, if you want to be completely confident at your final fitting, schedule your breast augmentation 3 months prior to the wedding.

Breast Lifts can be done with or without implants. Anytime we are making lift incisions, just as with an implant, we want to avoid wearing an underwire bra for 6 weeks after surgery. With a breast lift, the breasts won’t fall too far below where they are post-surgery. The scars will be red for 4-6 weeks as they heal. Best to give yourself at least 3 months.

Arm Liposuction can make a big difference in the shape and contour of the upper arm. Like torso liposuction, a compression garment will have to be worn for 12 weeks to retain the new shape and control swelling. At the 3 month mark you can trade the compression garment for a gown.

TIMELINE: 1-2 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING

An Upper Eyelid Lift is a relatively simple procedure that can make a dramatic difference in your appearance. Excess skin and fat are removed and the muscle is tightened for a more youthful eye. Sutures are removed by the end of the first week post-op. Incisions will be red for approximately 4 weeks, then gradually fade. 6 weeks should be a safe timeframe.
Neck Liposuction is great for getting rid of isolated areas of fat and creating a more defined jawline. Small incisions will be imperceptible at the 6 week mark at which time most swelling should be resolved. There are several new non-invasive techniques for the neck, but keep in mind liposuction is the more comprehensive solution to neck contouring.

Hand Fat Grafting is getting more popular. Bony, crepey hands with prominent veins are a sign of age. Plumping up the hands with your own fat will smooth the top of the hands. Another big benefit to using fat in aging hands is its intrinsic rejuvenating properties. There can be some mild swelling and bruising, so give yourself at least a month to recover.

Botox and Facial Fillers have revolutionized the war on aging. Readily available and relatively affordable, they represent a great way to smooth lines and replace volume. Compared with surgery, injectables involve little downtime–but that doesn’t mean no downtime. Think carefully about both the procedure and the provider and give yourself at least 3 weeks prior to the event in case there is bruising. You may also find touchups are necessary. Lip Augmentation with fillers should be done 4 weeks in advance to anticipate any swelling.

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