The Emotional Aspect of Plastic Surgery Recovery

When people ask about recovering from a plastic surgery procedure, what they typically want to know is how comfortable or uncomfortable they might be. We often discuss this as well as how to manage comfort as the body heals, what medications they may take, and how much time they’ll need to be off work. What we don’t often cover is the emotional side of plastic surgery recovery. This is a very real aspect and one that shouldn’t be glossed over. Although the outcome of facial rejuvenation or body contouring is an exciting prospect, some patients may find that they feel somewhat blue during their surgical recovery. Here, we discuss how to attend to emotions after having plastic surgery.

Tips to Avoid the Post-op Blues

  1. Ask for the real-deal details during your plastic surgery consultation. As we mentioned, recovery from plastic surgery is not something to gloss over. It deserves clear, compassionate communication. If you’re having a tummy tuck, for instance, you want a surgeon to explain how you might feel a week after surgery, two weeks after surgery, and so on. This is not a time to state only “you’ll feel fine after a few days.” The way that recovery is discussed determines how much patience one may have as the body heals. Plastic surgery is not instant gratification; it’s a process. Know what that process may look like so your expectations are accurate.
  2. Today, most surgeons want patients up and moving as soon as possible after surgery. This goes for breast augmentation, tummy tucks, and facial procedures as much as it does more invasive medical procedures. When moving, do it outside if possible. This stimulates the senses and can be very grounding at the same time.
  3. Eat well. The body needs all the nutrients it can get after surgery. Eating well promotes optimal healing and it also fosters good emotional health. This is not the time for skipping meals nor is it the time to indulge in unhealthy comfort foods. Soups, salads, and lean proteins are ideal for feeling both indulgent and healthy.
  4. Remember the outcome that is ahead. When the side effects of surgery linger for more than a few days and the body just feels worn down, or when pain medication causes unwanted side effects like constipation, it can be easy to question why plastic surgery seemed like a good idea. In these moments, it is helpful to remember those before and after pictures that served as motivation before surgery. It is helpful to know that, in time, the body will look incredible.
  5. Get support. If you are planning a plastic surgery procedure, gather your support team ahead of time. Sometimes, just having good company or a shoulder to lean on can do wonders to avoid the post-op blues.

Patients of our San Antonio office receive friendly, professional care that sees them through their plastic surgery journey. For your consultation with Dr. Schaffer, call 210-227-3223.

Posted in: Plastic Surgery

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