Longer hours are part of the economic landscape for most Americans. A recent study in the Los Angeles Times reported that people who worked over 11.5 hours were likely to suffer depression and other illnesses. According to the study,working 11 or more hours a day was associated with a 2.3- to 2.5-fold increased risk of having a major depressive episode compared with those who worked a standard seven- to eight-hour day. That association held true after researchers adjusted for social and demographic factors, smoking, alcohol use and job strain. The researchers believed that the increase in depression may be caused by conflicts between family, work, and balancing other outside relationships. Dr. O’Toole and his staff explain to patients who are considering plastic surgery that it is important to consider work schedules and required time for healing following cosmetic surgery procedures. Although the healing time is an estimate patients who are used to working very long hours must take into account that healing will be prolonged if they return to work too early and do not allow the body to heal. For example, abdominoplasty combined with liposuction has an estimated recovery of 10 to 14 workdays. This is for a desk type job. Patients who rush back to work prior to a release from Dr. O’Toole could run the risk of developing fluid pockets, increased swelling, and additional pain and discomfort. The best approach is to allow time off from work for not only the surgery but for a full recovery based on Dr. O’Toole’s estimates.
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