Articles about preparing for plastic surgery often condense the process to what happens after a patient has chosen a plastic surgeon. But if you’re thinking about cosmetic surgery, the planning process should start much earlier—especially for our Kalispell plastic surgery patients whose goals are to be ready for a specific event or vacation.
It’s never great to feel rushed, and that’s particularly true when it comes to plastic surgery. Being confident in your choices will help you avoid having second thoughts after the procedure. If you’re hoping to book a breast augmentation procedure or a mommy makeover so you’ll be ready for a spring cruise, for example, it’s wise to start planning about 6 months earlier because winter is the most popular time to get cosmetic surgery and surgeons get booked early.
To help you plan, we’ve compiled a timeline you can follow when preparing for cosmetic surgery:
Researching plastic surgeons: Some people rely on the recommendations of family or friends when choosing a surgeon. But many patients start their searches from scratch and use online resources such as RealSelf and other sites where patients post reviews to help narrow their choices. Another tool is the surgeons’ websites, where you can get a sense of their training and experience, in addition to viewing before-and-after photos.
Depending on your schedule, this process typically takes at least 1 or 2 weeks.
Scheduling consultations: You may feel like you got lucky and found the ideal surgeon for you after a single consultation. It’s a good idea, however, to allow enough time for at least 2 or 3 consultations to ensure you feel comfortable with your choice. It’s important to keep in mind, also, that surgeons with excellent reputations will be busier, and it may be difficult to schedule an immediate consultation.
Allow up to 6 weeks for this step.
Scheduling your surgery: As with consultations, highly regarded plastic surgeons are booked several weeks or months in advance for surgeries. You can use this additional time to ensure you’re as healthy as possible for your procedure by improving your diet, maintaining a consistent exercise regimen, losing weight if needed, and concentrating on the health of your skin. If you’re a smoker, this is an ideal time to quit.
Plan on 1 to 3 months between your consultation and surgery.
Recovery time: This varies depending on the type of procedure you get and when you’ll see the final results. For example, the physical recovery after a facelift is only a couple of weeks, but if you want to look your best for a special event you should plan on at least 12 weeks after your procedure. The same is true for body contouring procedures such as a tummy tuck or breast augmentation—the “back-to-work” recovery time is different than the “bikini-ready” recovery time.
Patients considering plastic surgery often think about it for months or even years before beginning the process of choosing a surgeon. That’s good because it’s not a decision that should be made on the spur of the moment. People in Montana who get cosmetic surgery travel from Missoula, Helena, and throughout the northwest to our practice to have one of our surgeons perform their procedures. You can request a consultation using the online form or call us at (406) 756-2241 to schedule an appointment.