It’s the most wonderful time of the year…to visit the plastic surgeon. Seriously. According to plastic surgeons around the country, requests to go under the needle or knife spike during the holiday season.
“The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas definitely is a busy time of year for my practice. Patients want to look freshened-up for holiday parties,” Marina Peredo, a New York City-based dermatologist, tells Allure. “They want to look their best for the pictures and selfies that are taken during the holiday season.”
Besides the never-ending parade of holiday party photo booths, the season is also an oddly practical time of year to have a procedure, Min S. Ahn, a Boston-based facial plastic surgeon, adds. “A lot of companies shut down and people take vacation time right around the holidays,” he tells Allure. “This not only provides people with a good excuse to be away from work, but it also is the perfect amount of time to recover from a surgical procedure, which is about one to two weeks.”
So, what are the most popular holiday procedures? According to the doctors we spoke with, patients prioritize putting their best face forward during the holidays —
face-lifts are a big pre-New Year’s trend. The kind of facelift on patients’ wish lists, however, totally depends on their yuletide schedule.
If you’re taking some much-needed time off…
Once you decide to go under the knife, find the perfect surgeon, and write the check, there’s still a major hurdle to getting any cosmetic surgery procedure: blocking off enough recovery time. “One of the most difficult parts about surgery is finding the time to recover. You have a lot of the time during the holidays, so that tends to be one of the main reasons why people do it,” Rady Rahban, a Beverly Hills-based plastic surgeon, tells Allure. “There is also the added boon of using your holiday bonus on the surgery.”
While no-downtime-needed injectables are quick, easy, and relatively affordable, going under the knife is a whole new ballgame.
Face-lifts are a holiday miracle for patients who aren’t into fillers, according to docs. “Many of my patients are tired of looking over-plumped and somewhat distorted by fillers, opting for a face-lift instead,” Melissa Doft, a plastic surgeon in New York City, tells Allure. “The procedure is performed in a surgical suite as an out-patient procedure that typically takes three to four hours.” After an incision is made in the folds of your ear, the surgeon lifts the inner layer of your face and neck muscles, giving you a more sculpted jawline.
“Patients are swollen and have some bruising after surgery,” says Ahn. “One day after the procedure, we have them come to the office to remove their dressing and after a week, they return to the office and have their sutures removed.” Typically, it takes that full week to start feeling like yourself again, he says.
While results can be dramatic — and worth saving all year for — the recovery for the procedure takes a full two weeks. Sipping hot cocoa on the couch while binge-watching your favorite holiday movies is advised.
If you have more holiday parties than Santa…
For some of us, however, the holidays are non-stop — an office party here, a brunch gift exchange there. Read: No downtime to recover from the swelling, bruising, or redness that comes with a surgical procedure. In-office plumping and tightening procedures (which include ever-popular injectables) offer instant results and zero downtime — theoretically, you could get a little plump and tighten on your way to your Secret Santa.
Peredo says she performs a lot of non-surgical face-lifts (a.k.a. the Silhouette InstaLift) during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. “This treatment gets the job done, redefines the face and is fast becoming a very popular solution for men and women who don’t want a [surgical] face-lift,” she says. “It offers little downtime and immediate results, and takes only 30 minutes to perform — if a party is coming up, the patient is ready and feeling and looking great.”
How to book a holiday procedure
“One of the things that we see besides an uptick in procedures, is the fact people want to get procedures done immediately,” says Rahban. But, “one of things that is most important while undergoing procedures during the holidays is planning in advance. I can’t stress that enough,” he adds.
Fitting a procedure to make you feel merry and bright into a calendar that resembles a game of Tetris is fine as long as you’re not rushing your decision or your recovery. “You never want to have surgery under the gun or in a compromised fashion,” says Rahban.
Just because time off over the holidays might be convenient, it doesn’t mean it’s the only time you can book a procedure. “Remember, this is elective surgery,” says Rahban. “I would stress not to choose timing over skill set or talent. The idea is that your research tells you that this is your preferred surgeon — if the timing doesn’t work out, it doesn’t mean you should go to your second or third choice.”
Considering the increased popularity holiday procedures, it’s perhaps not surprising that surgeons are also reporting a rise in an interesting gift: plastic surgery gift cards. But before you stuff a loved one’s stocking with the gift of a face-lift, make sure it’s something they’ve expressed interest in.
For more holiday beauty:
Now, watch as a dermatologist explains lip injections: