Putting on a good face for your big event

Some cosmetic procedures take very little recovery time, says UCI Health plastic surgery specialist

July 01, 2014
Plastic surgeon marks areas for a patient's cosmetic procedure

It's only six weeks until your all-important reunion — that seismic event where everyone eyes each other meticulously to critique who "looks old" and who has "aged well."

Is it too late, you wonder, for cosmetic surgery or some other procedure to look your best?

No, says Dr. Gregory R.D. Evans, director of UCI Health Aesthetic & Plastic Surgery and UCI Health Pacific Coast Plastic Surgery, a newly opened concierge-style office in Costa Mesa.

Still, it's a good idea to consider the timing of any cosmetic procedure.

"A lot of times patients don't plan far enough ahead,” says Evans, a professor of plastic surgery and biomedical

Recovery tips

A little planning and preparation can help
ensure you get the best possible results
from your cosmetic procedure.

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engineering, and chair of the Department of Plastic Surgery at UC Irvine School of Medicine.

"That said, we can get people in pretty expeditiously when they want surgery. But we don't want someone flying to Hawaii on July 1 after coming in for surgery in late June."

Consulting with a plastic surgery specialist can help you determine what you want, need — and have time for.

Even if that reunion, wedding, vacation or anniversary trip is fast approaching, there are many effective alternatives to boost your appearance — and self-confidence.

Quick fixes

Most non-invasive procedures usually require minimal or at most two or three days of down time, says Evans, a past president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. These procedures include:

  • Dermal fillers, such as Restylane® and Juvéderm®, to smooth out wrinkles
  • Botox® for frown and forehead lines, crow's feet and neck bands
  • Chemical peels to smooth and brighten skin
  • Laser resurfacing to rejuvenate skin and remove age spots and other blemishes.

"For the fillers and Botox, there is really minimal down time; people may be bruised for a day or two,” Evans explains.

Healing time for laser resurfacing varies. “Recovery time depends on the depth of laser used and whether it's for hair removal or facial resurfacing,” Evans says. “It involves maybe a week of recovery time. People can be red in the facial area for a while.”

Plan ahead for surgical procedures

Surgical procedures require more planning. Ideally, patients should have a consultation at least three months before their big event, he says. UCI Health plastic surgeons offer a broad range of procedures, including:

  • Eyelift
  • Facelift
  • Breast augmentation, lift or revision
  • Tummy tuck
  • Nose surgery
  • Liposuction
  • “Mommy makeovers,” a combination of procedures to meet an individual's specific needs

"Most of these procedures are done under general anesthetic," Evans says. "Very few require an overnight stay. But sometimes, if surgery involves the abdomen, it might be necessary. Recovery from a facelift, abdomen or breast surgery takes three to six weeks. For eyelid surgery, recovery may take a week or two."

There are measures consumers can take to heal properly from a cosmetic procedure, but every individual is different. "Recovery is based on overall health,” Evans notes. “That's one reason we start with a consultation. We need to know what types of medications you're using. If you're a smoker or on steroids or have other medical issues, your recovery may take a little bit longer."

Patients should give themselves plenty of time to recuperate from surgery, he adds. "Allow for some down time, and let the normal healing process work."

Consider your goals

The surgical consultation is a great opportunity to discuss your goals and time frame for having a procedure.

"Ultimately, we want to sit down and make sure that we listen to the patients," Evans says. "I want to ensure that my patient understands what I may or may not be able to provide. I want to understand the biggest issue that is bothering them and see if we can correct that surgically or non-surgically."

To schedule a consultation or learn more about UCI Health Pacific Coast Plastic Surgery, please call 949-999-2411.

— UCI Health Marketing & Communications