A ^Retired Plastic Surgeon's Notebook

Timing is everything in music and in surgery

Seattle Plastic Surgeon discusses the importance of timing in music and in plastic surgery.

Keith Moon keeping time for The Who.

Keith Moon keeping time for The Who.

I have been practicing a song with my husband that we are going to perform at a recital in a couple of weeks. I’ve been playing guitar and singing for many years but my husband is a beginner. One of the challenges we have is getting the timing just right – or as our zen master guitar teacher says, “really getting in the groove”. A few little chord or note mistakes here and there can sometimes fly right by most listeners but even the tone deaf will pick up an error in timing.  There is no drummer in the world who would have the patience to practice with us so we rely on an electronic metronome.

This, of course, reminds me of plastic surgery because almost everything reminds me of plastic surgery. Timining is also so important when patients schedule surgery. It’s not that I mean 4/4 time with a swing rhythm at 92 beats per minute. I mean timing the surgery so that the procedure and the recovery fit into the everyday rhythm of a crazy, busy, modern life and I don’t think this sort of timing is ever easy. But it is so important.

Almost everything I do requires a little “down time” even if it is just resting five minutes after a Botox injection or an hour with a cold pack after filler injection. Surgical procedures require anywhere from 3-5 days “off” for small area liposuction to a full 2-3 weeks off for a body lift or some face lifts or deep chemical peels.  The cases that are hardest on the patients are the cases such as a face lift or a deep chemical peel where the patient feels pretty good but looks really bad and where over activity can really delay healing by prolonging bruising and/or swelling.

I always try to tell it like it really is so patients know what to expect and can plan accordingly. I have a page on my web site devoted to this topic because not planning a realistic recovery can leave a patient very sore and very frustrated.

On this topic, I am speaking from personal experience as a pretty bad plastic surgery patient. I remember attending jury duty a few years ago and having to attend to my surgical drains during breaks. I took a lot longer to heal that average and it was no one’s fault but my own. What a naughty patient! Do as I say and not as I do.

Thanks for reading!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder


Category: It's All About Me., Postoperative Care, Preoperative Care | Tags: , , , ,

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