If your friend, who is usually the life of the party, rejects your invitations in favor of “chilling out” at home for the holidays, she may have a private agenda. Instead of writing the great American novel, mastering Nintendo or eluding the FBI, she may be oozing into bandages, applying ice packs and waiting for her bruises to progress from red to purple to green to yellow. No, her husband didn’t beat her and she is not retiling the bathroom. Instead, she is using the holiday lull for self-beautification. Her home has become a “safe house.” She is in hiding, recovering from plastic surgery or a less invasive procedure, such as a chemical peel, microdermabrasion or laser treatment.
According to the Wall Street Journal, December 29, 2011, “After many cosmetic procedures patients want to go underground during the days-long recovery period. The holiday season makes it easier to avoid interacting with others at work or in school car pools.”
Many are opting for Fraxel this year, which promises to deliver youth by removing freckles and dark spots with a laser. Traci Slatton, a 48-year-old New York writer endured this procedure, which, in her words, “feels like heated rubber bands snapping against your skin” to face four or five days in which her skin had the potential to be swollen, red and scabby. She had the procedure during Christmas break so she would not have to worry about bumping into other parents while dropping off her daughter at school.
Plastic surgeons may have to deal with unhappy wives in December. The wives may fly solo at holiday parties while their husbands wield scalpels into the early evening hours. A Houston plastic surgeon says this month has been his busiest ever. In December he performed about 20 surgeries a week, which is twice what he does in other months. The most popular plastic surgeries in December are those, like facelift, which require the most time for healing.
December is also the month in which you may be likely to plan other elective surgeries simply because, by then, you may have met your insurance plan’s annual deductible. Bariatric surgery can cost about $35,000, including hospital charges. Michael H. Wood, medical director of the bariatric surgery program at Harper University Hospital says, “Patients do want to fly under the radar and they can do that during the holidays.”
The time will come when plastic surgery and its less invasive counterparts are so commonplace that people wear their bruises openly in public. Until then, you can anticipate that many of your friends and neighbors will return from the holidays looking very “refreshed.”
For more, visit surgery.org