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Emotional Health After Plastic Surgery: It’s Something to Talk About

shutterstock 1412202866 If you’re thinking of having plastic surgery, chances are you are completely focused on two primary things. One is finding a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon. The other is your excitement and vision for your new and improved self. Plastic surgery patients most often go through their pre-surgery process expecting to feel very happy afterward. The vast majority of patients do, but some encounter feelings of sadness along the way, usually in the first week or two after surgery. Feelings of sadness, sometimes referred to as postoperative depression, are not abnormal. These feelings don’t mean something is wrong, it is just an experience that some people have. Knowing this, each patient can be better prepared to attend to their emotional health after plastic surgery.

Why Do I Feel Sad After Plastic Surgery?

Postoperative depression is most commonly felt by people who undergo major surgery such as a hysterectomy or open heart surgery. That said, surgery of any kind takes a toll on the body. A person’s nervous system is bound to react to the little bit of stress, even excitement, that occurs before plastic surgery, too. And where there is disruption to the nervous system, energy must be released. Sometimes it is released through feelings of sadness. 

After plastic surgery, the blues may present as:

  • Bouts of crying
  • A heightened state of emotional sensitivity
  • Persistent or sudden irritability
  • Feelings of doubt and regret about having surgery
  • Anxiety about recovery and the outcome of surgery
  • Loneliness and a sense of missing one’s normal routine
  • Confusion about feeling sad when one “should feel happy”

How to Nurture Emotional Health After Plastic Surgery

Postoperative sadness is not usually severe. It is manageable, especially with some preparation. Tips for maintaining emotional health after surgery include:

  • Talking to the surgeon before the procedure to get a very clear idea of what to expect. Ask what you will look like right after surgery. Ask for a breakdown of week by week or day by day what you may feel. The clearer you are, the more accurate your expectations, and the more settled you can feel. 
  • Arrange visits, calls, or texts with supportive loved ones. If your support team is also aware that feelings of sadness could arise, they are better prepared to see you through them. Daily check-ins can do wonders to ward off loneliness and questions about why you’ve had surgery. 
  • Prepare food ahead of time. There are so many ways to do this. You can arrange a meal train, gather menus from your favorite restaurants who deliver, or pre-make meals that can be warmed up. The point is to have healthy and comforting foods at your disposal so you don’t have to think about meal-planning when your focus should be healing. 
  • Gather images or affirmations that will remind you of the reasons you’ve had surgery and what you have to look forward to after recovery. 

Our Reno office is known for its friendly and professional atmosphere. Dr. Dahan is known for his outstanding skill as an experienced and compassionate plastic surgeon. To schedule a consultation, call (775) 826-4477.

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