beautiful day at the beach

beautiful day at the beachAs summer draws to a close and Labor Day weekend affords once last jaunt under the sun, our focus shifts from vacation, bathing suits and sunscreen to regular fall schedules, start of school, and autumn events like fashion week. The frenetic pace of winter holidays may seem to lie in the distant future, but if you want to look your best for the party season, now is the time to start thinking about how to achieve the results you seek.

We now have myriad options for helping you look your best, from entirely non-invasive, to minimally invasive, to fully surgical alternatives. As far as non-invasive methods to combat the signs of aging, many of these procedures require several treatments, usually spaced a few weeks apart. To see maximal results, now is the time to start planning. In contrast, aesthetic surgery usually yields more significant results with just one operation, but the recovery itself may take several weeks. Here are a few pointers regarding certain aspects of some popular cosmetic procedures:

  • Non-surgical rejuvenation: procedures that have “no downtime” are typically temporary, and may require multiple treatments. These include:
    • Botox: can take up to 2 weeks for full effect, usually lasts 3-4 months, eliminates wrinkles and creates smoother skin;
    • fillers: many different types (e.g. Juvederm, Voluma, Volbella, Vollure) and multiple indications, from plumping lips to correcting laugh lines to restoring volume in the face; temporary swelling for a few days resolves and results can last up to 2 years;
    • skin resurfacing with microneedling with or without platelet rich plasma (PRP), in office facial peels, and laser treatments: reduce fine wrinkles, improve skin tone and reduce pigmentation; results noticeable after 2-3 weeks, may require 2-4 (or more) sessions to obtain the greatest improvements, 3-4 weeks are recommended between treatments.
  • Minimally invasive procedures: produce noticeable results with only tiny imperceptible incisions and minimal recovery
    • fat injections: use a patient’s own fat, which is rich in stem cells, to fill in creases, replenish lost soft tissue volume, and produce an immediate mini-lift in the face; also improve skin tone due to stem cell content; immediate and permanent results after minimal swelling for several days; may be repeated as desired;
    • microsuction: limited liposuction in the neck using minute cannulas to improve neck contour, eliminate double chin deformity, smooth out jowls, and tighten skin; fat removal is immediate with minimal swelling, skin redraping may require several weeks for final result.
  • All surgical procedures will cause some swelling and bruising, both of which usually improve significantly within the first 2 weeks after surgery. In addition, keep in mind the following recommendations for specific cosmetic procedures:
    • eyelid lift (blepharoplasty): improves eyelid contour and removes extra skin and fat around the eyes
      • an upper eyelid lift requires an incision and sutures must be removed within the first week after surgery
      • occasionally patients may need to use eye drops and eye lubricating gel for a few days after surgery
      • lower eyelid surgery may sometimes be performed without an incision or sutures, but if an incision is necessary then sutures will need to be removed
    • rhinoplasty (nasalplasty): reshapes the nose, e.g. reducing the bony hump or refining the tip
      • any cosmetic surgery on the nose will create swelling and bruising that may track around the eyes
      • most swelling will persist in the tip area for several months after surgery
      • final results may not be seen for up to a year post-operatively
    • facelift and neck lift: improve face and neck contour, reposition soft tissues, and remove excess, loose skin
      • moderate swelling and bruising diminish after 1-2 weeks
      • sutures need to be removed after 7-10 days
      • return to full activity possible after 2 weeks
    • liposuction: surgical aspiration of stubborn fat deposits producing aesthetic body contouring
      • fat is removed immediately and permanently from affected areas
      • swelling resolves over several weeks and process is aided by use of compression garments, whereas skin shrinkage may require several months before final results are obtained
    • breast enhancement: improving breast shape and size with breast augmentation, breast lift, or combination of both
      • immediate change in breast shape and size with breast implants and/or breast lift
      • restriction of exercise and upper body activities recommended for 2-4 weeks after surgery, depending on whether implants are under the breast (subglandular) or under the muscle (subpectoral)
    • breast reduction: removal of excess breast tissue and skin, and repositioning of nipples
      • immediate results and improvement in symptoms due to large breasts, such as neck and back pain
      • in men, gynecomastia correction produces immediate improvement in chest contour
      • depending on type and extent of surgery, return to normal activities usually possible after 1-2 weeks
    • labiaplasty: reshapes the external female genitalia by removing excess or bulky soft tissue and improving symmetry
      • swelling can be significant for the first week after surgery
      • restriction of exercise, strenuous physical activity, and sexual intercourse for 4 weeks post-operatively to avoid complications and ensure optimal result

Depending on your particular wishes and desires, a combination of non-invasive, minimally invasive, and surgical treatments may be the best option for you. Some treatments may be performed concurrently, whereas others may need to be staged several weeks apart. Allow yourself plenty of time to undergo all planned procedures and to recover in between each so as to achieve the best new you.

Dr. Olivia Hutchinson is a board certified female plastic surgeon in NYC with advanced specialized training in aesthetic plastic surgery. Her practice off Park Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side is dedicated to cosmetic surgery of the face, breast and body. Our state of the art office is equipped with a fully certified AAAASF Operating Room for the safety, privacy, and convenience of our patients. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Hutchinson, please contact us or call us at (212) 452-1400.

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