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The upcoming holidays are the busiest time of year in plastic surgery offices! Whether it's patients seeking cosmetic surgery procedures such as breast augmentation, liposuction or facelifts, or those just looking to refresh with minimally invasive aesthetic procedures like injectables or laser treatments, everyone seems eager to be squeezed in for their end-of-year appointment!
Neuromodulators like Botox and Dysport top the list of the most popular procedures as we near the holidays. Commonly used to smooth out lines and wrinkles of the upper face – including the "furrow lines" between the eyebrows, the "crow's feet" around the eyes and the horizontal lines of the forehead – the result is no makeup settling into fine lines or wrinkles and an overall refreshed appearance. This is the perfect treatment for getting you holiday photo-ready! A quick, relatively painless procedure with results lasting 3-4 months, there's little to no evidence of having had anything done immediately after treatment. A truly zero downtime procedure!
Dermal fillers are another type of injectable used to refresh the appearance with very little downtime. The products fill in folds (for instance, the nasolabial folds around the mouth) and add volume to areas where there is a deficit due to the aging process or weight loss. The result is a natural, rested, more youthful appearance with minimal pain, discomfort or swelling. If new to dermal fillers, the holidays are the perfect time to try this procedure for the first time due to the ability to lay low for a few days if needed!
The holidays are also a great time to undergo laser skin rejuvenation as we have less exposure the sun in the fall and winter. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and the Clear + Brilliant laser are popular procedures used to target brown spots and rosacea and improve skin texture by stimulating collagen. IPL is great for people with sunspots, as it does a great job of lifting up both old and new sun damage. The Clear + Brilliant goes a little deeper to target stubborn hormone-related pigmentation issues like melasma. It also helps target fine lines that cannot be treated with Botox or Dysport, such as in the under-eye area and the vertical lip lines ("smoker's lines") around the mouth.
A good medical-grade skincare regimen includes medical-grade products to create a smooth, healthy foundation. The holidays in particular increase exposure to cold, dry air, which can irritate sensitive skin and exacerbate fine lines and wrinkles. The chillier months of December and January are popular for patients to get a good daily skincare routine that includes actives like vitamin C serum and retinol!
Aside from facial rejuvenation, patients also seek body contouring procedures around the holidays for obvious reasons! Fall and winter are common months for holiday parties and other traditions centered around high-caloric foods and over-indulging. CoolSculpting is a completely nonsurgical, no downtime procedure that is designed to trim down stubborn areas of fat in areas like the abdomen, flanks and thighs. Results are permanent and can be observed anywhere from a few weeks to 3 months post-treatment... just in time for spring and bathing suit season!
The winter holidays are the most popular time for plastic surgery procedures, for obvious reasons. Cooler temperatures mean more time spent inside, wearing more cozy layers and more time for surgical recovery. Which procedures are most popular around the holidays? In my practice, they all are!
A common breast surgery favored around holiday time is breast augmentation. With or without a breast lift (known as mastopexy-augmentation), this time of year enables women to recover discretely over the holidays without taking additional time off work. Swelling will be gone by the time a winter vacation comes around, and final results will be appreciated well in advance of summer swimsuit season!
Breast reduction surgery is also very common around the holidays, as insurance deductibles often have been met and many patients' job schedules slow down at the end of the year. When breast surgery is combined with tummy reshaping in a mommy makeover, extended family visiting for the holidays are often available to help moms out during their postoperative recovery.
Liposuction and abdominoplasty are extremely popular body plastic surgery procedures before and during the holidays. Why? Again, downtime! It is easy to conceal postoperative compression garments under cozy winter layers of clothing, and the timing is perfect for results to be final for spring and summer.
Facial plastic surgery procedures that are most popular in my practice are the MACS lift (minimal access cranial suspension) lower facelift/neck lift and upper lid blepharoplasty. For all the reasons described, the holidays enable men and women to have time off work built into the time of year, so they look refreshed and rejuvenated for the New Year!
Beware of companies that advertise cosmetic surgery aggressively on social media, for appearances can be deceiving. A recent study showed that the vast majority of posts on Instagram about cosmetic surgery were by non-plastic surgeons (medi-spas, dentists, OB-GYNs and non-MDs). For more information about safe plastic surgery and aesthetic cosmetic procedures for the holidays, be sure to #DoYourHomework and see a board-certified plastic surgeon and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons!
Have a beautiful holiday season!
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.