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How to Recover Emotionally from Cosmetic Surgery

Before you have cosmetic surgery, you are expecting to feel like an entirely new person – confident, happy, and in love with how you look. While many people do feel happy and excited after a procedure such as breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, or tummy tuck, it’s not unheard of to feel a bit blue or even regretful. This is called postoperative depression, and Dr. Ortiz, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Raleigh, is sharing how you can regain your positivity and enthusiasm after cosmetic surgery.

What Is Postoperative Depression?

Postoperative depression is a common side effect of surgery, and it doesn’t just affect patients who have had cosmetic surgery. People who have had surgeries for their health, such as removing their appendix or heart surgery often experience strong emotional reactions. Often, it’s caused by a combination of a feeling of loss, experiencing the physical pain of recovery, increased dependency on others as you heal, and worry about how the surgery will affect your life moving forward.

Postoperative depression for patients who have had cosmetic surgery also shares similar qualities to postpartum depression. With both experiences, patients expect they will feel happy and don’t understand why they don’t. Common feelings include:

  • Feeling regret or second-guessing the decision to have the procedure;
  • Irritability and heightened sensitivity;
  • Anxiety over what you’ll look like once all the swelling has resolved and you heal completely;
  • Anxiety over what normal recovery experiences are and when you need to call your doctor;
  • Difficulty sleeping, often associated with discomfort from recovery;
  • Missing your daily routine, such as working out or sexual activity as you heal.

Reducing the Risk of Postoperative Depression Before Surgery

If you are considering plastic surgery, there are ways you can reduce or minimize your risk of postoperative depression. The most important thing to do is to manage your expectations. This includes working with your cosmetic surgeon to understand issues such as:

  • What you will look like after the surgery (directly after and in the immediate recovery time following the procedure);
  • How long it will take to achieve your final results;
  • What your recovery process and timeline will be;
  • How your final results will change your overall shape or look;
  • Understanding your motivations for undergoing cosmetic surgery;
  • Understanding whether your expectations are reasonable;
  • Preparing as much in advance for your recovery, such as cooking and freezing meals, having child care arranged, and having ways to fill your time set up, like a stack of books or a Netflix queue ready.

Emotional Recovery After Your Cosmetic Surgery

After your procedure, you may feel fantastic emotionally and excited to see the New You, and if so, that’s great! However if you don’t, that’s okay, too. These tips will help you recover a more positive, healthy mindset:

  • Have a support group of trusted people to help you. Not only will you need physical help for a few days, you’ll also need your support around you emotionally.
  • Nourish your body with healthy foods and drinking plenty of water;
  • Let yourself rest and follow your recovery plan to the letter. Trying to do too much too soon can set your recovery back, exhaust you, and overwhelm you.
  • Call your surgeon if you have concerns or worries about swelling or bruising – they’re there to help!

Also, if you continue to struggle with worry or postoperative depression, it’s okay to seek help to get you through this period.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Ortiz Today

If you would like to pursue a cosmetic procedure, schedule a consultation with Dr. Ortiz today. He will discuss your likely outcomes, help you manage expectations, and understand what you can expect prior to a procedure as well as ensure quality care afterward which can help minimize the risk of postoperative depression. Call us today at 919-532-2270 or fill out the form below to get started.

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