How Does the Heat Affect Your Plastic Surgery Recovery?

posted in News by Dan

As a plastic surgery clinic located in Clear Lake, TX, we know heat. And we know just oppressive the classic Texas heat can become. That’s why there are plenty of ways to adapt and stay cool–and lots of air conditioning. But how does the heat affect your plastic surgery recovery?

The answer to that question can vary wildly, depending on your physiology and the procedure that you’ve undergone. Every patient receives individualized recovery instructions from Dr. Polsen that are designed to optimize their comfort and protect their results. The summer heat may impact some of your recovery instructions, but the basics will remain the same.

What Happens to Your Body During Recovery?

Plastic surgery is transformational. Most procedures are capable of making substantial changes. Body contouring surgery can make you look slender and fit. Facial rejuvenation can help take years off your face, eliminating troublesome lines and wrinkles.

Swelling and bruising after your plastic surgery procedure is finished is both normal and common. Typically, swelling is a manifestation of your body’s natural healing and defense mechanisms. The team at South Shore Plastic Surgery will help prepare you for swelling that may occur as a result of your procedure (this will be part of the detailed instructions you may receive).

It may take several days to several weeks for the swelling to fully subside after your procedure. After the swelling recedes, you’ll be able to see (and appreciate) your overall transformation. Recovery for most procedures will generally take several weeks, during which period you’ll likely have several follow up appointments with Dr. Polsen.

How Can Heat Impact Your Recovery?

In most ways that matter, the heat will have in itself very little impact to your plastic surgery recovery. It’s your body’s reaction to the heat that can be the problem. In addition, the intense sunlight of the summer might be something to avoid as well.

  • Your body’s response to sunlight can exacerbate inflammation. This can increase the amount of recovery-related swelling.
  • Your healing skin is relatively exposed after surgery, meaning you’ll likely want to keep yourself out of the sun as much as possible.
  • Some recovery garments, such as pressure garments, can become quite uncomfortable in the summer heat.

Many patients will often ask about recuperating pool-side. That’s not generally recommended for the reasons listed above. Most patients are instructed to spend at least the first week or two (again, depending on the procedure and the health of the patient) indoors. The bonus is that you get to enjoy air conditioning instead of the sweltering Texas heat!

You should always ask Dr. Polsen about any recovery concerns you might have. These conversations can take place as early as your first consultation with Dr. Polsen, when you first discuss your plastic surgery transformation.

The Best Way to Recover From Plastic Surgery in the Summer

There’s no single best way to recover from plastic surgery in the summer months. Every patient is going to have their own unique challenges and strengths. Generally speaking, however, it’s a good idea for patients to remain indoors and away from harsh sunlight as much as possible. This means that most patients are encouraged to stay in their cool, air conditioned homes during the initial stages of their recovery.

It’s also usually recommended that you keep your incision covered when outdoors in the summer. This is because direct sunlight can cause issues with your incision, sometimes even making any scarring more prominent over time. Keeping your incision out of direct sunlight should help alleviate this problem and, as always, patients should follow Dr. Polsen’s instructions as closely as possible.

Can I Get Plastic Surgery in the Summer?

Yes! Many patients undergo plastic surgery during the summer months. In fact, there are some things that make summer the perfect time to undergo a procedure, depending on your desired result and your schedule. Some of the benefits of undergoing plastic surgery in the summer include:

  • Often, it’s far too hot to go outside during the summer anyway. For some patients, therefore, might not be missing out on anything by spending a couple of weeks inside (in the air conditioning).
  • Summer vacation! Many who elect to undergo plastic surgery over the summer do so because they have available time to take off of work over the summer. For teachers, summer vacation provides an excellent recovery window.
  • You can explain away your absence! If you need to stay away from work for a couple of weeks but you don’t want it widely known that you’re getting plastic surgery, you can always just let people assume you’re taking a long summer trip.

There is no universal “best” time to undergo a plastic surgery procedure. For some patients, summer will be optimal. For others, the season or time of year might not matter all that much. But if you have scheduling questions or concerns, you can bring up those issues as early as your initial consultation.

If you have questions about your plastic surgery plans, contact our Clear Lake, TX, office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Charles Polsen, a board certified plastic surgeon.