Plastic surgery, whether a face lift or body contouring procedures such as a tummy tuck or breast augmentation, targets the outside appearance of your body, it also affects the inside, such as your mental health. While you may feel anxious or question your decision before your procedure, you are more likely to experience an emotional recovery after plastic surgery.
In most cases, these ups and downs are a normal part of the recovery process. However, if you experience strong emotions, talking with your surgeon, your general practitioner, or an understanding friend can help.
Understanding Post-Procedure Emotions
Every plastic surgery procedure has different stages of recovery based on the work that was done, meaning every patient is unique. At the same time, however, changes in emotions are common after any surgical procedure, even for medically necessary surgeries. It is not uncommon to experience a collection of emotions that can include:
- Doubt – Did you make the right decision to have your chosen procedure. Will you really be happy with the results?
- Post-Surgical Depression – Recovery can be a difficult road. Not seeing the final results due to swelling and healing and feeling uncomfortable or lacking sleep can lead to depression.
- High Sensitivity – As you recover, feelings of doubt or depression may increase your sensitivity when it comes to family and friends. You may be more likely to snap or interpret their comments in the wrong way.
- Stress – Recovery can be a stressful period. Pain and sleep positions may lead to missed sleep while initial swelling and scar healing can prevent you from seeing the positive results you were hoping for after the procedure.
Tips for Riding the Emotional Roller Coaster
Before your plastic surgery, it is good to get a clear understanding of the procedure and what you can expect during recovery. It is also important to have realistic expectations when it comes to the results you will achieve. During recovery, there are things you can do to help manage these emotional challenges.
- Talk with your surgeon before your procedure and get a clear, day by day or week by week, list of expectations for your recovery. This can include everything from scar healing to when you should expect to see results. Keep in mind every patient heals differently, so you may not follow guidelines exactly.
- Maintain social connections – After surgery, you want to rest and give your body time to recover. However, that doesn’t mean you have to be alone. Maintaining regular contact with friends and family members can help balance your emotions.
- Follow your post-recovery instructions – Following your post-op instructions for recovery and not trying to push yourself will help ensure that your body has the time it needs to heal. Know what to look out for when it comes to recovery, so you are not questioning or Googling if you experience a complication.
It is not uncommon to experience emotional ups and downs during your recovery. In most cases, this roller coaster will come to an end as your recovery progresses. If you experience strong emotional changes or have severe feelings of depression, it is important to reach out to your surgeon or friends and family. Dr. Drew Davis and his team are here to help when the emotions are too much to handle. If you are experiencing post-op depression, please reach out for assistance and support.