Now, Dr. Talei says that “a bunch of high-end people who are A-list, B-list” are trying to book their procedures, some even calling last-minute on Fridays and Saturdays when he’s normally off. “The actors started calling me as soon as the writers’ strike began because they knew something was coming down the line, so they just wanted to get their consults out of the way,” says Dr. Talei.
Both Dr. Chang and Dr. Talei report a 30 percent increase in appointment requests since the strikes began.
When it comes to recovery time, an eye lift can heal in five or six days whereas facelifts take the longest. According to Jason Diamond, MD, a board-certified facial plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills who saw his biggest rush when the Writer’s Guild of America went on strike May 2, patients can usually recover from a facelift in two weeks. It can take four to six weeks for the surgery to be completely undetectable and for them to be camera-ready, though. “I’ve had many people who are like, ‘oh, no, no, I’ll be fine,’” he says. “I’ve never had anyone get called out, even when they’ve been back in two weeks, but I don’t recommend that.”
There are some things that can help speed up the process. Dr. Chang says her patients tend to recover much more quickly than usual because she is“very delicate with soft tissue handling.” And she doesn’t put them under general anesthesia (just sedation), even for facelifts, so they feel like themselves again faster.
Another trick requires Paris Hilton, or really, just her hyperbaric oxygen chamber. “I have like, five, six different patients who go to her house to use it,” says Dr. Talei. “The reason they go to Paris is because she has this big one that’s like a four-person chamber. It’s kind of more social and it’s not claustrophobic.”
Unless actors and writers get a fair contract, it’s hard to say there’s an upside to the Hollywood strikes. Still, in a medium once called the “silver screen,” there are silver linings for some.
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