Timing Counts: Choosing the Best Time for Facial Plastic Surgery

As facial plastic surgery is often an elective procedure, you have a lot of control over when the surgery takes place. You will have to wait for an opening in the surgeon’s schedule, but you do not get the surprise call the night before saying there is suddenly an opening. This gives you to the power to time your surgery around your work schedule, vacations, and social gatherings.

Becoming Physically Prepared

There are certain things you cannot do prior to cosmetic surgery. One of the most important is stopping all use of medications that thin the blood. Products like aspirin, ibuprofen, and vitamin E can all keep blood from clotting properly. Smoking also negatively impacts a surgery. It takes two weeks for all of these items to no longer be a risk, so you must stop their use at least two weeks prior. If you are not prepared to eliminate use of these products, it is not the right time for plastic surgery.

Take Healing Time Into Consideration

When you undergo any facial plastic surgery, you need time to recover. Swelling and bruising are common side effects. You will not want to go out in public looking like you were in a brawl. Instead, you need to plan accordingly. If you are nearing the holiday season and expect to attend festive gatherings, you may want to delay your surgery until the start of the new year. If you want to time the recovery with a break from work, time the surgery for the start of your vacation. Here are the breakdowns of how long it takes for swelling and bruising to ease after popular facial plastic surgeries.

Brow lift: A brow lift tighten the skin on the forehead to help remove creases and wrinkles and draws up the eyebrows. Bruising and swelling do not last long, usually no more than 10 days. You cannot engage in strenuous activities for three weeks. By this point, you have healed nicely and the brow has settled into its final position.

Eyelid Surgery: Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that tightens the eyelids and helps remove bags. It takes a week for bruising and swelling to decrease. Some redness and even small bumps can be visible in the incisions on the upper lids for a number of weeks. Avoid strenuous activities for three weeks.

Facelift: After your facelift surgery, you will wear bandages around your head to help alleviate swelling. A day later, this bandage is switched to a looser one that is removed yet another day later. Stitches are removed after a week. Bruising and swelling are generally mild and ease after two weeks. You cannot engage in strenuous activities for three weeks.

Rhinoplasty: Expect a full year to pass before you see the final results; however, most bruising fades within 10 days. Noticeable swelling on the upper portion of the nose decreases in two weeks, but it can take months for swelling in the tip to fully vanish.

Factor in Cost

The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery’s 2012 Membership Study lists the average surgeon / physician fee for a facelift as $7,453. This was followed by hair transplants that cost $7,182 and rhinoplasty at $5,541. With the exception of hair transplant which is typically done in the office setting with charges being all inclusive, these are surgeon’s fees only and do not include additional expenses such as those for the surgical facility and the anesthesia, which can add significantly more to the total cost.  If you’re having these surgeries for cosmetic reasons, health insurance is not going to help you with the cost so you need to figure out how to finance your plastic surgery.

There are programs that can lend you the money needed. You need to apply for these programs in advance. Care Credit is one of the most popular options. This program requires no application fee or early payment penalties. If you pay within the agreed upon time frame, it is also interest free. As an example, an interest-free year loan for a facelift would come to a monthly payment of $622. If you went for a five-year loan, the monthly payment with a 14.9 percent interest rate would be $177 per month. With the latter, your total payments and interest would total $10,615.

In the end, you must decide the best way to finance your procedure. It can take some time, so make sure you have an idea of what you plan to do before scheduling your consultation. When calling to make an appointment, verify that the plastic surgeon accepts your payment method. Not every doctor accepts Care Credit and similar programs. Once you’ve confirmed the plastic surgeon accepts Care Credit, apply online.

For facial plastic surgery in Oakland, schedule a consultation with Dr. Sheldon Kabaker. Dr. Kabaker brings a wealth of experience to every patient. Since 1971, he has averaged a month and a half of continuing education in facial plastic surgery. Fill out the online contact form or call (415) 379-9015.

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