No matter where you are on your journey, it’s never too soon to start preparing for plastic surgery and both the physical and emotional recovery to follow. It’s normal to feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster from the initial consultation to the final result, which in some cases can take up to six months or longer to fully appear. Keep in mind that as you recover, your emotional health should be just as much of a priority as your physical health. Feelings of nervousness, anxiety, excitement, depression, and stress are all a normal part of the process but they can also affect your recovery. The more time you spend preparing for plastic surgery, the less stressed you’ll be, and the more quickly you’ll recover physically and emotionally. You’ll also be able to enjoy the overall process more because you’ve done the hard work ahead of time. Prepare yourself for your recovery by learning what common emotions to expect after surgery. We’ll explain how to deal with those emotions in a healthy way through the tips below.
Set Realistic Expectations
The vast majority of patients are delighted with their results once they’ve recovered, but do experience doubts and worries before they get there. Talk to your surgeon about what to expect and make sure that you’re on the same page about realistic results. Make sure that you are getting this procedure for yourself and not for anyone else. Knowing the scientific data surrounding your desired procedure and what possible risks are involved are also an important aspect of preparing for plastic surgery. Ask your surgeon about any questions and concerns you may have so that there are no surprises. Take notes about the expectations you are setting so you can remind yourself of them in the future. Please don’t hesitate to contact your surgeon’s office, as more questions come up in the days leading up to your procedure and try to mentally relax.
Get Ready for the Physical Recovery
If the physical recovery aspect of plastic surgery is taken care of, it will be that much easier to recover emotionally as well. Doing the following will clear your mind of any unnecessary distractions or worries before, during, and after your procedure.
- Double Check Medications: The top plastic surgeons in your area will tell you that checking and double checking your medications is crucial before your procedure. In order for you to recover properly, make sure that you avoid common medications like Vitamin E supplements, blood thinners, Ibuprofen, and any medication containing aspirin.
- Prepare Your Body for Recovery: Get enough sleep and stick to a healthy diet and exercise regimen before your surgery so your body is ready to heal. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein are all nutritious foods that you’ll want to fuel your body with so that it feels better and heals quickly. Continue to get lots of sleep and eat healthy during recovery.
- Recovery Space: Creating a place you want to come home to is one of the most important parts of preparing for plastic surgery. Setting up comfortable pillows and blankets in a way that will support any special sleeping positions that may be necessary is something you can do in the day or two before your surgery.
- Tie Up Loose Ends: Take care of business at home and at the office so that you’ll have peace of mind before, during and after your procedure. Fill prescriptions, get groceries, pay bills, and attend to whatever you need to so that you don’t have to worry about it later. Make sure that you have all your bases covered and won’t be expected to answer emails.
- Stop Smoking: It’s critical to quit smoking before your surgery, even if temporarily. Nicotine can greatly slow down the natural healing process of your body and if not stopped, can even become life threatening.
Common Emotions After Plastic Surgery
Even a top plastic surgeon in your area will tell you that there’s no guarantee of what you will or will not feel once your procedure is complete. In the days immediately after your procedure, you’ll be in the most physical pain and have to rely on others for help while recovering from plastic surgery. The combination of being on anesthesia, taking pain pills, and lying down for long periods of time can lead to feelings of depression. On top of that, you’ll have bandages and bruising that may make you worried about how your final results will look. Every person and procedure is unique, but there is an inevitable adjustment period. Some common feelings after cosmetic surgery to prepare for during the timeline of recovering from plastic surgery are:
- 3-5 Days After Surgery: It’s important to rest as much as possible, which means ample time to think, doubt, and wonder if your procedure was a good idea.
- 1-3 Weeks After Surgery: Results will start to show and you may get anxious thinking that you don’t recognize yourself.
- 3 Weeks-3 Months After Surgery: Your body is still adjusting to the changes and you may think you’ve made a huge mistake, wondering if you’ll ever be satisfied.
- 3-6 Months After Surgery: You’ll be adjusted, your results will look more natural than ever, and you’ll have a newfound confidence. You’ll be so happy you made a change.
To deal with feelings of doubt and discomfort, try to distract yourself with a good book or favorite TV show. Spend time thinking about what you’ll be able to wear and do once you’re healed and how good you’ll feel then. Be patient and gentle with yourself, keeping expectations low for what you can accomplish while you’re recovering and avoiding any negative self talk. It’s also helpful to have a strong support system around you and a caring top plastic surgeon in your area to validate your feelings, help remind you of why you decided to get plastic surgery in the first place, and redirect your focus to the positive.
Call on friends and family members that you trust to be there for you while you are recovering. Arranging school pickups ahead of time or just inviting friends to come visit while you’re stuck at home are a few ways that you can ask for help. Don’t forget that you’ll need someone to drive you home from your surgery as well. Family and friends are an essential part of preparing for plastic surgery. You may get lonely resting at home and start to feel depressed. Make sure you invite people to come by and visit. Little tasks you didn’t think of may pop up during your recovery and having a group of people you can rely on will help you to not overwork yourself.
Find a Surgeon You Trust
Only the top plastic surgeons in your area will be board certified, meaning they have gone through extra, rigorous training to become experts in their chosen field and have more experience than other surgeons. This certification is extremely important and can give you greater peace of mind. Create a list of questions to bring to the initial consultation and see for yourself how the surgeon responds and how they make you feel. The first impression could be a good indication of if they are right for you. A great surgeon will understand the emotional aspect of recovering from plastic surgery and help you prepare in the best way so that you have as smooth of an experience as possible.
Remember that no matter how good of a surgeon you have and how much they tell you about what to expect, your emotional and physical health after surgery is your responsibility. You may have a harder time recovering and getting back to your normal routine than you expected, and that’s ok. It’s up to you to commit to a successful recovery by committing to preparing for plastic surgery now.
The best thing you can do to get ready for your procedure is to be aware of the ups and downs you will feel while recovering from plastic surgery. Talk to your surgeon about what your procedure will entail so you know how patient to be while waiting for true results to appear. Studies show that factors influencing patient satisfaction are influenced greatly by the quality of the plastic surgeon. Top plastic surgeons in your area will provide you with answers, a positive experience, and fantastic results. Set up a one-on-one consultation with a top plastic surgeon in your area to learn about the details of your desired procedure and the associated physical and emotional recovery experience.