This is a valid… and important question! As you are no doubt aware, aesthetic surgery must not be taken lightly; this decision requires reflection. Is there an ideal time to do it or, on the contrary, a less ideal time?
In this article I present some of the factors to be taken into consideration when deciding on the best time for your aesthetic surgery.
Is there an ideal time to undergo aesthetic surgery?
Ideal, maybe not, but aesthetic surgery must never be carried out on the spur of the moment; it is thus essential to choose the « right time ».
Firstly from a medical and practical point of view, it has a direct impact on the results of the surgical procedure and the postoperative recovery period.
Then, it is also important to take into account the psychological aspect of this decision and the circumstances surrounding it.
All these aspects will be reviewed during the consultation with the surgeon.
Finally, the ideal time is the time you feel happy with, in tune with you and your desires (not those of others!).
Choose the right time: the medical and practical aspects
The general health of the patient and any pre-existing medical condition must be considered before undergoing aesthetic surgery.
During the consultation, I check that my patient is in good health. A plastic surgeon can recommend postponing a procedure if the patient has a disease or medical condition that could affect recovery or increase the risk of postoperative complications.
From a practical point of view, it goes without saying that some periods of the year are more ideal than others, depending on the season, the possibility of taking time off, or because some upcoming events require total recovery.
Some procedures – breast augmentation or an abdominoplasty for example – require a compression garment to be worn day and night for 2 months after the operation: you need to consider this if you are planning a holiday at the seaside…! No bathing on the cards…
The psychological and personal aspects
The reasons that push people – men or women – to take the plunge are quite common to all of us: dissatisfaction with our physical appearance, the desire to feel more confident or more in tune with our identity and inner self.
Aesthetic, plastic, or reconstructive surgery helps reconcile the feeling of harmony between the outside and inside. It is a significant moment in life.
The decision to undergo aesthetic surgery is a major personal and emotional choice that must be carefully thought through.
« As a surgeon, I must ask the right questions, understand the motivations of my patient, and assess if they are a good candidate »
However, there are periods to avoid:
- Periods of stress: if you are going through a period of intense emotional stress such as a divorce, a death in the family, or a change of job, it may be better to wait before undergoing surgery. Not only will the stress affect healing and make recovery more difficult, but the emotional upheaval can hinder our ability to think. Grief, anger, or bereavement can prevent us from making the best choices, so the best solution is to wait until you are back on your feet and see if you still want to go through with it.
- Weight changes: if you are planning on losing or gaining weight (pregnancy for example), it is preferable to wait until you have reached a stable weight before undergoing surgery. Fluctuations in weight can affect the results of aesthetic surgery, especially in the case of body contouring surgery. A stabilization period is necessary and after giving birth (vaginal delivery or by cesarean), it is best to wait at least 6 months before considering plastic surgery.
- Adolescence: Warning! Adolescence is a complex time of hormonal, physical, and mental changes. The question of the body (which changes and is transformed) and what others think is significant and can go hand in hand with complexes. More and more youngsters are tempted by aesthetic surgery, partly because it is increasingly « trivialized » by the media, in particular reality TV and social media. Even though it is totally acceptable that an adolescent is suffering and legitimately has the right to undergo an operation, it is necessary to be careful. A consultation is an opportunity to review the situation, carefully examine the request, and determine if it is justified. Under 18 years, it is necessary to be accompanied by a parent.
If it is justified, some procedures require waiting for the body to be fully developed. For others, and this is the case of surgery for prominent ears, the operation can be carried out from the age of 6 or 7. In any case, the consent of both parents is necessary for minors according to French law.
If the request is unjustified, I generally suggest to my patient that they consult a psychotherapist or just wait.
Choose the right time: trust your surgeon
Qualified and experienced plastic surgeons have in-depth knowledge of aesthetic surgery and are capable of assessing the situation of each patient professionally and impartially.
We can help you determine the optimal moment to undergo aesthetic surgery depending on your objectives and motivations, your physical and psychological state of health, as well as the foreseeable outcome of the procedure.
As a surgeon, I work closely with you so you can make an informed decision.