Life is a process and a journey: physically, mentally and emotionally. So when choosing to alter your physical appearance, it’s important to remember that mentally and emotionally there will be changes as well.
The anticipation of what the physical change will be after the surgery can be overwhelming enough, but then going through the recovery period and seeing the final results can also weigh heavily on one’s mental state. Postoperative depression is quite common, with any surgery. Symptoms can range from anxiety, sadness, fear and other emotional issues that can feel like a roller coaster of feelings, all associated with the physical change in your appearance. Managing expectations and keeping them realistic is critical and needs to be addressed when managing any sort of postoperative depression feelings.
It’s important to use plastic surgeons that are aware of the emotional and mental changes that are associated with the physical change and can offer support and guidance as you learn to adapt to your new body. It’s also important that those who elect to proceed with plastic surgery have a strong self-image and are comfortable understanding that changing one physical attribute may not lead to overall life and esteem satisfaction, but bring a sense of comfort and confidence by improving self-image.
Talking with your doctor and being open and honest with all health issues or concerns is extremely important when preparing for plastic surgery. Communication is key. As a patient, you have the right and responsibility to express any and all opinions and feelings that you may have to ensure that you get the maximum results that you are looking for. Accurate description of what you want is important to both your mental and physical health. Bring in examples, but remember that not everyone looks right with Angelina Jolie’s lips, or Kim Kardashian’s rear-end. This is where setting realistic expectations are necessary and knowing what works for you and communicating that to your doctor before the procedure.
|“As a cosmetic plastic surgeon I am oftentimes faced with a patient who is clearly giddy with the prospect of plastic surgery. She will finally obtain the physical changes she has wanted and perhaps worked towards without success for some time. It is with this individual that I like to take a moment to revisit the realistic expectations of the procedures. Plastic surgery is akin to the great summer vacation you took as a kid. At the end, it was a great experience that you loved and would love to go on again. Along the way, however there was alot of driving and fighting with your brother in the back seat. In a similar way cosmetic surgery awards the patient with wonderful long lasting physical improvement but it is a journey that is sometimes wearing.In the immediate post-op period there is always swelling, bruising, and some discomfort. This will of course pass, but after all the initial excitement it is deflating to wake up looking less attractive than when you began. This is when postoperative depression can set in. Surgery can be a waiting game. The good news is that as long as you are aware of this before surgery you can mentally prepare. Knowing what is coming removes the anxiety and empowers you. The results you seek will come and the preoperative expectations will be met, but it is a process like everything wonderful in life.”
– Dr. Joseph Cannova Jr.
Keep in mind that when going through a huge life change, such as a divorce, loss of job or family member, changing your physical appearance will not be the solution to your problems. Anytime we try to alter our physical appearance to achieve “perfection” or a permanent change there can be negative risks associated with plastic surgery. Being in a clear mental state and having your own personal reasons thought out and thought out again are essential when making the ultimate decision regarding plastic surgery.
This is your body and your life. Taking time to think over the procedure, working with your plastic surgeon and researching is important to your overall health, physically, mentally and emotionally.