Each year, many of us wrap presents for loved ones and put up elaborate decorations in preparation for the Christmas holiday. However, holiday décor isn’t the only important thing we put on display, go ahead and admit it, our own appearance is undeniably important. For some, the holidays provide that extra incentive to undergo a beauty treatment or procedure that has been considered for awhile.
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, there has been an increase of more than 155 percent in the total number of cosmetic procedures since 1997; surgical procedures increased by more than 71 percent, and nonsurgical procedures increased by 228 percent. From 2009 to 2010, there was a 9 percent increase in the total number of cosmetic surgical procedures, with more than 1.6 million surgical procedures this year.
Even though the countdown to Christmas has begun, there is still time to give one's natural beauty a boost. Because time can be a somewhat limiting factor, let’s examine the possibilities:
Generally speaking, a facelift can provide “party ready” results in just two to three weeks (although bruising and swelling will vary among patients). Modern facelift techniques can produce dramatic improvements to your face and neck and would allow you to attend a holiday social in 10 days to two weeks. Short-incision facelifts can produce results in just seven to 10 days for many patients.
While makeup can improve the appearance of a woman’s face, eye shadow won’t do much if others can’t see it. Often times, eyelid skin can droop as we age, making eyelids appear hidden. Blepharoplasty, or an “eye lift,” can “open” eyes up in as little as two weeks. Modern brow lift techniques will not leave a long, old-fashioned scar across the hairline, and they can lift the brow into a more youthful position with just a couple of very small incisions that are fully hidden in your hair. As with any surgery, individual healing times vary. In most cases, though, bruising and swelling fade within about 10 days, and most people can wear makeup even sooner.
Some people lose facial fat volume as they age, and they may benefit from fat grafts (removing fat from one area of the body and injecting it into the face) or fillers. Injectable filler solutions fall into two main categories:
Recovery from injectable fillers varies greatly and is dependent on the amount of substance injected, as well as individual healing. Limited amounts of injectables can offer significantly shorter recovery times — usually up to one week.
While injectables are the ideal solution for some patients, they are not the best solution for the fine lines around the eyes or upper lip. However, laser technology allows clinicians to target the fine lines on the surface of the skin to reveal refreshed, smoother, younger-looking skin. Resurfacing laser procedures usually cause some redness that will fade over the course of a few weeks, but it can easily be covered with makeup after about seven days.
If you’re like most people, though, you have only a few days to spare before the holidays, which can still be enough time to enhance appearance significantly. Botox injections, for example, can give a more refreshed look in just a few days. Skillfully placed Botox injections can leave you looking refreshed and rested with no down time — all it takes is 10 minutes with your qualified provider. Botox is one of the least-invasive options, and with skilled delivery, you will not look "overdone."
Botox decreases the contraction of facial muscles, which subsequently decreases the amount of skin wrinkling that occurs in certain regions of the face, such as the forehead and the area between the brows. Botox usually begins to take effect within three to four days. Though Botox is popular and widely available, it is not a permanent solution, and it is not risk-free (and therefore should be performed by a trained medical professional who can skillfully inject the Botox without causing distortions in your facial expression).
The Venus Freeze device is the latest in advanced non-invasive fat reduction and skin tightening systems and is now offered at the office of Dr. Jennifer Walden. The Venus Freeze system was developed based on clinically proven medical technology for non-invasive skin tightening and modest fat reduction, it uses pulsed magnetic fields and radio frequency to consistently and uniformly heat the skin from the inside out without the threat of laser burns. The collagen fibers heat up resulting in skin tightening to attain very nice results.
Venus Freeze treatments are non-invasive and painless. The treatment is also quick and effortless — only 15 minutes for the face and 40 minutes for the body.
Other new noninvasive technologies — such as fat reduction by external freezing of cells, or cryolipolysis (CoolSculpting™ by Zeltiq™) and skin tightening of the face and neck using sound waves (Ultherapy™) — offer no downtime and are easy ways to get ready for the holiday season!
If you are interested in targeting troublesome areas of your body (rather than your face), you will have an easier time concealing bruising and swelling under your party clothes. For example, breast augmentation and moderate liposuction procedures only require several days of recovery (allowing you to return to normal, not rigorous, activity). Larger volume liposuction procedures, breast reductions, breast lifts and abdominoplasty procedures (“tummy tucks”) require around two weeks to recover.
So there you have it... the skinny on the treatments and procedures that can be done on the final countdown to 2013. Here's to a "picture perfect" you!
To learn more about these or any of the other cosmetic procedures Dr. Jennifer Walden offers, please visit her places page or call the Austin plastic surgery office at (512) 328-4100 to schedule your complimentary holiday consultation.