By Sacha Obaid
Summer is on the way! You, like many people, may be taking stock of your body goals and thinking about how you can look your best (and feel your best) when the weather gets warmer, and it’s time to put on a bathing suit, play volleyball on the beach, and lounge by the ocean or pool.
Having a body that makes you feel good about yourself is a fantastic way to start the summer. If you’ve been thinking about plastic surgery as a way to give your body and mind a lift, now is the time to get serious! Let these plastic surgery timelines be your guide, so you know when to start the process of achieving your best body for the summer.
Plastic Surgery Timeline
Here’s your straightforward plastic surgery timeline. Read on for details about all of the steps in the process!
Step 1: Research – Start now!
Start your research now—and book your appointment too. While you’re waiting for your appointment, take some time to look over North Texas Plastic Surgery’s website. Check out our before-and-after photos, reviews, and videos to get an idea of the procedures available and the kinds of results you can expect.
Feel free to give us a call. We can discuss your needs over the phone and go over prices, recovery, and financing options.
Step 2: Schedule a consultation and consult with a plastic surgeon – March
It’s best to have your consultation in March to give yourself plenty of time for surgery and recovery before summertime. Keep in mind that it can take up to two weeks to get in for a consultation, so reach out to North Texas Plastic Surgery now!
Step 3: Book your surgery – Plan for 3-4 weeks
This is the first part of the timeline where the procedure you desire will make a difference in how quickly we can proceed. This is because the type of procedure influences how soon we can book you for surgery. For example, breast augmentations require less of a lag time than more complicated procedures like tummy tucks and mommy makeovers. With these procedures, it usually takes three to four weeks to get a patient into surgery.
Step 4: Have a pre-op appointment – 2-3 weeks before surgery
This appointment will be two to three weeks before your procedure. Sometimes we can schedule it sooner, depending on your plastic surgery timeline and the procedure you have booked.
During this appointment Dr. Obaid will take pictures for reference, give you any prescriptions you might need, and go over your pre- and post-surgery instructions.
Step 5: Have your procedure.
To be ready for surgery, your plastic surgeon may require you to stop taking certain medications. You’ll need to do this two weeks prior to surgery.
If you smoke, you’ll need to stop smoking for four weeks before the surgery and continue not smoking for at least six weeks afterward.
Step 6: Embrace your recovery – At least 3-4 weeks
After most procedures, you’ll be able to resume cardiovascular exercise three weeks after surgery and resume all normal activities six weeks after surgery.
Your exact recovery timeline will vary depending on the kind of procedure you have:
• Breast augmentation requires at least two days off work after surgery. If your augmentation is combined with a breast lift, expect to take five days off work.
• For a mommy makeover, tummy tuck, or Brazilian butt lift, you’ll need around 10 days off work.
• For most other procedures, expect to need one to two weeks off work.
Whatever your procedure, aim to give yourself a recovery time of at least three to four weeks, especially if you’re planning a summer vacation where you’ll be swimming and active. Be sure to follow Dr. Obaid’s recommendations for your activity level.
Although this is the first step in your cosmetic surgery journey, it’s one of the most important, because this is where you think about what your body goals are and what you want surgery to help you achieve.
Get to know a little about the procedures that can help you achieve a rocking summer body:
• Arm, thigh, and breast lifts involve the removal of excess skin in problem areas. These are relatively non-invasive surgeries that can tone and tighten your body and improve your silhouette.
• During a Brazilian butt lift, fat is removed from one or more parts of your body, such as your waist or thighs, and transferred to your buttocks to make them rounder and higher, if that’s what you prefer.
• Breast augmentation or reduction is your best bet if you want to change the size of your breasts, rather than their sag, which a breast lift can remedy.
• During a tummy tuck, excess skin is removed from the abdominal area. You can also opt to have the muscles in this part of your body tightened to further improve your silhouette.
• The mommy makeover combines a tummy tuck with a breast lift, augmentation, or reduction to improve the appearance of your body after pregnancy and breastfeeding.
• Liposuction may be your ideal option if you’re already happy with your shape, but you just want to tone and sculpt your body to get ready for bathing-suit season.
If you’re aiming to have a procedure in time for the summer it’s best to do your research now, while still giving yourself plenty of time to think about your options and what you want.
If you do decide to have a procedure, make your consultation appointment ASAP, and continue to research in the meantime, so you have questions prepared when you meet with your board-certified plastic surgeon.
If you’re a smoker, you may be able to speed up your plastic surgery timeline by cutting down or quitting as soon as possible. This is important because smoking slows down your body’s ability to heal itself and also increases your risks during surgery.
At your consultation, you’ll talk with Dr. Obaid about exactly what you want from cosmetic surgery, including your body goals and what you’d like to change. You’ll likely already have a specific procedure in mind, and at your consultation Dr. Obaid will help you decide what your best options are to achieve your goals.
For any procedure, you’ll come to our surgical facilities in Southlake or Plano. On the morning of the procedure, you’ll meet with Dr. Obaid one more time to talk about any last-minute concerns or questions you have.
Then you’re ready for your procedure!
• Arm, thigh, or breast lift: Each separate lift takes one to two hours.
• A Brazilian butt lift typically takes two to three hours.
• Breast augmentation or reduction: Augmentation takes around one hour, while reduction takes one to three hours for each breast, depending on how much tissue is removed.
• A tummy tuck takes two to three hours, depending on whether you have your muscles tightened as well as having excess skin removed.
• A mommy makeover takes three to five hours to complete, or longer if you’re also having liposuction.
• Liposuction typically takes around one hour to perform on one area of the body. The total time depends on which parts of your body you chose to have liposuctioned.
What happens after surgery depends on the procedure you have. Generally, if you have liposuction, an arm lift, or breast augmentation, you can go home the same afternoon. If you have a breast reduction or lift, thigh lift, tummy tuck, or mommy makeover, you’ll stay overnight in a recovery room at our surgical facility.
The Recovery Period
The more invasive a procedure is, the longer the recovery period. Liposuction, for example, has a much shorter recovery time than surgery, and a breast lift has a shorter recovery time than a breast augmentation.
• Arm, thigh, or breast lift: Most swelling subsides within six to eight weeks. Recovery time is quickest for an arm lift but takes longer for a thigh lift.
• Brazilian butt lift: Most swelling is gone within about three weeks, and full activity can be resumed within six weeks.
• Breast augmentation: After this procedure full recovery takes four to six weeks. By this time, most swelling is gone.
• Breast reduction: Most swelling will subside within six to eight weeks, and full activity can be resumed within six weeks.
• Tummy tuck: You’ll be able to return to all normal activities within six to eight weeks, and by this time, your body will be well-healed, with most swelling gone.
• Mommy makeover: While it takes up to a year to see the final results of a mommy makeover, within two to three months most of the swelling will be gone, and you’ll be well on your way to recovery.
• Liposuction has the quickest recovery time, at just one to two weeks.
In all cases, you’ll visit Dr. Obaid for a one-week follow-up to make sure your body is healing properly. Depending on the procedure you have, this visit may also involve removing bandages or stitches.
Planning for plastic surgery may seem like quite an undertaking, but breaking it out into steps and understanding your specific timeline makes all the difference. So choose what’s best for you, plan your consultation, get your procedure done, and look your best in time for the summer!