How to Plan Your Surgery Date – What Time of Year is Best?
Choosing your perfect surgery date is no easy feat. If you’ve decided to go ahead with your cosmetic surgery procedure, but you’re not sure when might be a good time, we might be able to help. The right date to undergo surgery is different for everybody. You may be preparing for a significant event such as a wedding, birthday, holiday or reunion, or you may be restricted by work, life commitments or other responsibilities including childcare. This article will help you decide on the best surgery date for you, as well as provide some helpful suggestions if you’re considering surgery but are unsure about what time of year may be ideal.
Event Coming Up? Planning Your Surgery Date Around It
Whether it’s the event of a lifetime or something smaller, you may consider cosmetic surgery to help you look and feel your best. Our advice? Plan ahead! Booking a surgery date isn’t always straightforward and may require some extra planning. You’ll need to allow enough time following your initial consultation with your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for:
- Any required pre-operative tests such as a Mammogram, Ultrasound or CT scan.
- The mandatory cooling-off period of 7 days.
- An opening in your surgeon’s operating schedule.
If you’re hoping to have your surgery in time for a specific event or date, planning for potential delays is essential. You will also need to allow time for your post-surgery recovery to be complete.
Allow Yourself Time to Recover
During your initial consultation with your chosen Specialist Plastic Surgeon, you will be given an approximate recovery time. Although a recommended recovery time is provided, it’s recommended that you plan beyond this to account for any delays. This is especially true if you’re planning your surgery around a particular date. Here’s our advice:
- As a rule of thumb, plan your time off based on the recommendations from your chosen specialist plastic surgeon. You may be able to return to work in a few days after your surgery if you are having a small procedure. For larger procedures, you should allow at least 4-6 weeks for your post-surgery recovery and healing. This time may vary based on your chosen surgery and any existing health conditions.
- Allow additional recovery time in case there are any complications during your healing period. The more time you allow yourself to recover, the better!
- Always put your health first and take your recovery seriously. This includes following your surgeon’s exact instructions.
Understand How Hospital Theatre Lists Work
Remember, it’s not just you and your surgeon alone on this journey together. The hospital that your surgeon is accredited for also plays a role in determining your surgery date. Hospital theatre lists work on a 4-week rotating roster and are determined by the hospital. In order for you to secure your perfect surgery date, the hospital needs to have the necessary resources available on that day.
Once you’ve decided to go ahead with surgery, our practice team may be able to secure your day of surgery. However, we’re usually not able to confirm the time of day it will be performed until 4-7 days prior. Each booking will need to be confirmed by the hospital prior to you receiving your finalised booking details.
Surgeons Take Holidays Too!
If you have a particular surgery date in mind, always be sure to ask your surgeon if they’re planning any breaks, holidays or trips away. Many surgeons regularly attend conferences, so there are often small gaps throughout the year where they are unable to operate. As well as taking holidays and attending conferences, a Surgeon’s operating list may fill up in advance.
To ensure that you can book the date you want, it’s advised that you start enquiring as early as possible. You may be able to get in for surgery before your surgeon heads off to a conference or other commitment.
Consider the Best Time of Year for You
Specific times of the year have advantages and disadvantages depending on your situation. Do you have prior commitments? Employment requirements? Dependent children or pets? A support team for your recovery?
Deciding when to undergo surgery revolves around you only!
What Season is Best for Elective Surgery?
This will differ for everyone, but there are some common trends that may attract you to a particular surgery date. You may opt for surgery during the Christmas break as you can use this leave for your recovery time. There are also many public holidays around this time of year that have the same benefit.
For some, recovering from surgery during winter may also be a good option. Of course, the time of year is all dependent on you and your individual commitments. Here are some pros and cons of undergoing surgery during the Summer and Winter seasons:
Should I Get Surgery in Summer?
- Summer holidays – days off work without needing to take leave
- Public holidays – days off work without needing to take leave
- You can be ready for mid-year holidays and possibly Easter
- Wearing garments may feel particularly hot
- Some Surgeon’s may be on holidays
- You may miss out on some important social events
Should I Get Surgery in Winter?
- Cooler weather – you can hibernate!
- Feel cool and comfortable when wearing garments
- Cooler weather is better for swelling
- Decreased sunlight is advantageous for scarring and swelling
- You may have extra funds from your tax return
- You can be ready for Christmas, School Holidays & Summer!
- Surgeons at ASAPS conference (August)
- No public holidays to use as leave
Choosing Your Surgery Date Around School Holidays
If you have children, you may decide to undergo surgery during school holidays so you can avoid the school drop off while you recover.
Alternatively, it may be preferable to plan your surgery outside of the school holidays. This way, you won’t need to organise child care during the day and you’ll also get a little peace and quiet while your children are at school.
Planning Time Off Work
Before booking your surgery date, you should check with your employer if you are able to take time off over that specific period. Any important meetings, work trips or contractual obligations should be considered when planning for your surgery.
Annual or Sick Leave
If you have a few specific surgery dates in mind, be sure to run these by your employer. Alternatively, if your job is quite busy all year round, you may choose to discuss a preferred leave period that would work best for both yourself and your employer.
It’s up to you whether you would like to inform your employer or work colleagues about your chosen surgery. If you don’t feel comfortable telling your manager or colleagues about your surgery, do not feel obliged to go into any specific detail about your leave. You can simply advise that you would like to take annual leave for a break or for personal/medical reasons.
Ensure that you fill out a leave form and have approval in writing so that there is no confusion regarding your requested leave dates.
If you have just started a new job, you may be reluctant to ask for time off. Be sure to take into account any ‘busy periods’ at work and factor this in when considering surgery and your chosen surgery date.
Honesty is always the best policy. So, be up-front with your employer and let them know as soon as possible. This gives them plenty of time to make any necessary arrangements for the business whilst you are away.
Have Your Support Ready
Before considering your surgery date, you should first decide upon your post-surgery support team. Consider the following:
- You’ll need someone to drive you home from the hospital after your surgery.
- You’ll also need a friend or family member to help you during the first few days of your recovery.
- You may need assistance with tasks such as cooking, cleaning and dressing during the first few days of recovery.
We suggest that you ask a friend or family member to be your ‘carer’ for at least the first 2-3 days following your surgery. If you have children, you may need to organise for your spouse, friend or carer to take your kids to and from school and to any additional activities.
Although you may have organised a friend or family member to care for you following surgery, you may want to look at hiring a house cleaner to help for the first few weeks following your procedure. Cleaning the house can often be a big and time-consuming task which you may not feel up to initially. Remember you need to take it easy!
What will you do with your pets? Pets require care as well as children. If you have a pet at home, you may consider having them looked after by a friend, family member or professional pet carer during your initial recovery period.
Plan, Plan, Plan
As you can see, planning is essential! Many of us have a variety of commitments, people, pets and homes that require our care and consideration.
When it comes to considering surgery and finding the perfect surgery date, it is important to consider the other people in your life and ensure you are well prepared for your recovery period. This will help to ensure your surgery and recovery are as smooth as possible and you have less to worry about in the days and weeks following your procedure.
Preparing For Surgery Emotionally
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About Dr Mark Doyle FRACS (Plast) – Queensland Plastic Surgeon
Servicing patients in Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and New South Wales NSW – Northern Rivers, Byron Bay, Ballina, Lismore and more.
Dr Mark Doyle is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with over thirty years of experience performing Breast, Body, Face and Nose surgery. As a highly esteemed plastic surgeon, Dr Mark is driven by an intense passion for helping patients achieve a happier, more beautiful self through advanced cosmetic surgery procedures.
He maintains a strong commitment to achieving the best possible results for all his breast, body, face and nose patients, both men and women.
Do Your Research
What to Bring to Your Plastic Surgeon Consultation
- Bring a friend or relative for support and discussion regarding your choices
- Take notes and read all provided information thoroughly
- Read about what to expect in your Initial Surgery Consultation
Book Your Plastic Surgery Consultation
- Get a Referral from your GP or specialist – this is advised but not required to book a consultation with Dr Doyle.
- Email us or call on 07 5598 0988 to arrange your consultation appointment.
- Pay your $285 Consultation Fee in advance to secure your consultation.
Please contact us to arrange to book a consultation with our Specialist Plastic Surgeon or to speak with our Patient Care Advisor.
*DISCLAIMER: All information on Gold Coast Plastic Surgery website is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Results can vary significantly and depend on individual patient circumstances. All images on this website, unless specified as real patient images, are stock images used for illustrative purposes only. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your surgeon. Book a consult for details regarding your cosmetic surgery procedure.