What You Should Know about Plastic Surgery During the Holidays


Ready or not, it is 2016! With the holiday season coming to a close, the start of a new year is traditionally a time of resolutions and plans for self-improvement. For many people, plastic surgery is a fantastic way to reach their goals. It is also an increasingly popular gift. As a result, while others are making plans to take time off and celebrate, plastic surgeons are inevitably busier than ever in the weeks between Thanksgiving and the end of the calendar year. In fact, the demand for procedures typically increases by roughly 25 percent during this period, according to the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons.

A Wonderful Time of the Year
What makes this such a popular time for plastic surgery? Some people want to look their best for the various seasonal gatherings on their calendars; others want a fresh start for the upcoming year. Many are making the most of their traditional time off, using this downtime to recover privately. Since the demand for the services of plastic surgeons is high, patients who want to schedule their procedures for a specific week during the holidays often do so months in advance to ensure that they can have time off to recover.

For those contemplating either undergoing or gifting plastic surgery over the holidays, timing is just one thing to think about. Both potential patients and aspiring gifters will want to identify what procedures they are interested in. Anyone who intends to offer cosmetic treatments to a loved one will also need to consider whether it is an appropriate present, decide whether their loved one will appreciate this type of gift and determine the best way to give it.

Popular Procedures
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in 2014 were breast augmentations, nose reshapings, liposuctions, eyelid surgeries and facelifts. Among minimally invasive procedures, injectables continued to find favor with patients. Injections of Botulinum Toxin Type A products like Botox and procedures using soft tissue fillers were the two most requested treatments. Chemical peels, laser hair removal procedures and microdermabrasion treatments rounded out the list of 2014’s five hottest minimally invasive procedures.

Which procedures top the holiday wish lists of patients seeking cosmetic treatments? It depends on the individual. “There really isn’t a single procedure that is most popular this time of year,” explains Dr. Shahram Salemy, a board certified plastic surgeon in Seattle, Washington. “In my experience, patients choose the surgery they want most and take advantage of the holidays as a period of time off from work or school in order to recover.”

To Gift or Not to Gift
Plastic surgery can enhance a person’s appearance, create a more youthful look and boost self-confidence, and the public’s acceptance of it continues to grow. Does that make it an appropriate gift? Judging from an ABC News report that states that the gifting of cosmetic procedures is up by at least 20 percent since 2013, plenty of people believe that it is. Supporters tend to see these gifts as an innovative way to pamper their loved ones with a positive indulgence that they might not otherwise enjoy. Many recipients report being delighted with their present.

However, gifting surgery can be tricky; people may find the idea uncomfortable. The decision to undergo this type of surgery is a very personal choice, and some worry that the recipient might feel pressured by a gift. In addition, plastic surgery is a medical procedure, and like any medical procedure, it does have certain risks that should be considered.

Is Surgery a Good Gift for Your Loved One?
Are you planning to give a loved one plastic surgery? It is a gift that should involve more than simply buying a gift card. Before making any purchase, talk with the intended recipient and verify that they really are interested in undergoing a cosmetic procedure; surprising someone with the suggestion of surgery is not wise. Take the time to identify reputable doctors in your area and learn about the types of treatments that they provide. In addition, ask yourself questions like these:
• Am I certain that my loved one really wants this gift? Have they asked for it?
• Does my present send the message that I want it to? Will my loved one feel insulted or pressured by it?
• How much does the desired procedure cost? Will my gift cover all or part of the expense?
• What does this procedure involve in terms of risk and recovery time?
• Should my gift be for a specific procedure? Would it be better to offer a dollar amount and let my loved one decide what procedure, if any, to spend it on?
• If the gift is through a specific practice, are the surgeons there qualified? Are they certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
• What if my gift is not appreciated?

Gifting the Right Way
It is important to note that cosmetic surgeries are real surgeries. Like any medical procedure, they do carry certain risks, and not everyone will be a suitable candidate for every treatment. Even if your gift is exactly what your loved one wants, they may discover that their dream procedure is not a good fit for them in reality.

To determine if a cosmetic procedure can deliver safe, effective results for your loved one, it is vital to consult with an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon. In fact, this consultation may be the ideal gift for someone who is interested in undergoing a procedure. “When you give the gift of a consultation, you offer an experience,” says Dr. Salemy. By giving a consultation, you create an opportunity for the recipient to explore various options and learn more about what a desired procedure involves. It is also an experience that can be shared. If your loved one is okay with the idea, you can accompany them to their consultation. Perhaps most importantly, gifting a consultation allows potential patients to educate themselves and decide exactly what treatment, if any, that they want to pursue.