For many brides-to-be, the pre-wedding beauty regime includes more than a glamorous hair style, perfect dress and professional makeup application. Before walking down the aisle, they may walk into a cosmetic surgeon s office. Mothers of the bride and groom also book pre-wedding cosmetic procedures so they can look picture-perfect on one of life s most memorable occasions.
Dr. Lyle Leipziger, chief of plastic surgery at North Shore University Hospital, with an office in Great Neck, says he does not expect the economy to have a significant effect on pre-wedding cosmetic surgery. He believes brides -- and some grooms, as well -- will continue to say "I do" to such procedures before the wedding, as will mothers of the bride and groom.
Getting married is a wonderful once-in-a-lifetime event. There ll be photos and videos the couple and their families will cherish for years to come, and people want to look their best, Leipziger says.
Younger brides in their 20 s often come in for a facial peel or microdermabrasion treatment by an esthetician to get a glow on their skin, or they see Leipziger for a lip-plumping procedure using an injectable filler. Skin treatments can be done two to three weeks before the wedding, and lip-plumping should be done at least three to four weeks prior to the event.
Other brides-to-be find getting married is a great reason to have liposuction in a problem area such as the abdomen or thighs. Men are more likely to opt for liposuction to get rid of pesky love handles. Leipziger cautions that liposuction is not a weight-loss procedure. "Liposuction is a body contouring technique. It can tackle problem areas that even a strict diet and exercise will not reduce," he says. Generally, the best candidate is no more than 15 percent over his or her ideal body weight.
Breast enhancement surgery is also one of the more popular procedures among younger brides-to-be. It s generally recommended that anyone planning to have liposuction or breast enhancement do so at least six months before the wedding. This
gives the patient ample time to heal completely and to get the right size dress in time for her special day, Leipziger says.
Brides-to-be in their 30 s and 40 s may opt for Botox to smooth frown lines, forehead furrows, and crow s feet around the eyes. Injectable fillers can diminish so-called "marionette lines", which run from the bottom of the nose down to the mouth or from the corners of the mouth down to the chin.
The eyes are often the first area to be affected by aging, and eyelid surgery to get rid of drooping lids or bags or puffiness under the eyes can make a major difference in appearance, making one look younger, more vibrant and refreshed. Eyelid surgery should be done at least four months before the wedding, according to Leipziger.
Women getting married in their 50 s and 60 s, and mothers of the bride and groom often find a wedding to be the perfect reason to have a facelift or eyelid surgery. Some women who have been considering cosmetic surgery for years decide this is the right time, he says. Anyone thinking about having a facelift should consult a plastic surgeon well before the wedding, and we generally recommend they have a facelift at least six months before the event.
To find a plastic surgeon, Leipziger recommends asking friends or a family doctor for a referral. Anyone considering cosmetic surgery should make sure the physician is board-certified in plastic surgery, has privileges at a major teaching hospital, inspires confidence and takes the time to answer all questions. Detailed information on cosmetic surgery procedures and their cost is available on the web site of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery: www.surgery.org.