As I write this blog, it is 2 degrees outside in NYC. I don’t mind the cold, but I do mind 2 degrees. It is ridiculous. It did get me to think about what the cold has to do with Plastic Surgery.
One of the advances has been the use of cold to remove fat without surgery, called cryolipolysis. When the fat cells are subjected to sufficiently cold temperatures, the outer layer, or membrane, bursts, and the fat cell dies. You process the fat, and it is excreted when you urinate. The key is to make it not harm the skin on top, and to be comfortable to tolerate for a patient. There are a few machines on the market that do a fair job at this, but the areas you can treat are limited, and it requires many treatments over a period of time to get your results. I think this treatment is fine for the right patient for a limited area of fat who is not a candidate for surgery or is opposed to it.
The cold also decreases the growth of bacteria. This is why the operating room is almost always kept cold. Studies have shown that temperature has a direct correlation with infections and bacterial growth.
Many patients elect to do Cosmetic Plastic surgery during the Winter months, as the girdles that are used can be uncomfortable for some in the heat. Also, you can cover swelling and bruising more easily with the heavier clothing used in this weather.
So, the cold is not all bad for Plastic Surgery. It just is inconvenient for Plastic Surgeons to be outside.