Post-Op Depression is Real!

How to Cope with the Emotional Rollercoaster After Surgery

It sounds a bit strange that having surgery to improve your physical appearance also comes with some emotional aftermath. Some plastic surgery patients lack the consideration of the emotional aspects of healing and accepting their new body image. The effects of negative emotions can be minimized if the patient is properly prepared.

Post-Op Depression Causes:

1. Pain Medications – Prescription painkillers are considered depressants which doesn’t mean that they will make you depressed, but will slow everything down much like alcohol consumption but on a larger scale.

2. General Anesthesia – Being “put under” can leave traces of chemicals that can remain in your body for up to three weeks. Residual effects can cause lethargy and despair. Be sure to ask your doctor if general anesthesia is absolutely necessary.

3. Bruising/Swelling/Discomfort/Buyer’s Remorse – You’re not feeling well or looking your best (stitches, bruising and swelling) and you just spent a good amount of money and time to achieve the opposite. Many patients start to feel remorse and feel like they made a mistake having the procedure in the first place.

4. Physical Restrictions/Lack of Activity – Being “down” or stuck on the couch or in bed is never enjoyable. Boredom, restlessness and helplessness start to set in and are not uncommon. A short supply of endorphins is caused by the lack of activity and paired with the first three causes listed above can be a recipe for disaster.

Here are a few simples rules to keep post-op emotions in check:

1. Have a designated support person.

2. Have a recovery plan prior to surgery that includes movies, a comfortable “rest station”, comfy clothing, close to a restroom etc …

3. Follow post-op instructions to a T.

4. Take a load off and allow yourself time to heal. It’s not going to happen overnight. Understanding and accepting the process is half the battle.

5. Eat healthy and avoid alcohol.

6. Have an open line of communication with your surgeon.

Realistic expectations for results and healing time after an aesthetic surgical procedure will be thoroughly explained by Dr. Waltzman prior to the procedure date.