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Get a Nip-and-Tuck Over Your Winter Break

Time off gives patients time to recover discretely

SATURDAY, Jan. 17, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- If there is a perfect time to have plastic surgery, it could well be your winter vacation.

"Certainly, people use vacation time to have a recovery from plastic surgery because they have scheduled time off," says Dr. Darrick Antell, a New York City-based plastic surgeon and a spokesman for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. "When you go back to work, people say 'Hey! You look great. You must have had a great vacation.' They shouldn't snap their fingers and say, 'Hey! You had your eyelids done.'"

After most types of plastic surgery, patients can typically go back to work and start exercising after about two weeks. This is not to say that they'll cause harm to themselves if they go back earlier. It's more a question of comfort level.

"The best time to have surgery is when you have appropriate time to recover," Antell says.

Winter offers some distinct advantages.

For one thing, it's easier to avoid exposure to direct sunlight on the incisions themselves.

Also, bulky winter clothing can hide evidence of any recent procedures. Liposuction bruises are concealed under a long skirt. Breast or stomach swelling is invisible beneath big sweaters and coats. Fashionably long scarves can cover marks from a recent face or neck lift.

If you're considering plastic surgery, make sure you find a board-certified doctor through the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

More information

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has more on plastic surgery.

SOURCES: Darrick Antell, M.D., plastic surgeon, New York City, and spokesman, American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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