Fear of the unknown is a normal human response. If you find yourself afraid of an upcoming cosmetic surgery procedure, you should feel relieved that your anxieties are shared by millions of other people.
The idea of changing any part of yourself with cosmetic surgery can be downright frightening.
As you’ll soon see, however, much of what you fear is merely a lack of knowledge.
Once you learn more about the art of cosmetic surgery and what to expect before, during, and after your procedure, any fears you had of cosmetic surgery will likely be replaced with excitement for the aesthetic results you can achieve.
Normal Fear of Cosmetic Surgery vs a Serious Psychological Problem
There is a word we have given to the fear of a surgical procedure. That word is tomophobia.
People who are tomophobic tend to have an extreme fear of surgery, which is not common.
Having only a slight anxiety over surgery, on the other hand, is common, and makes a lot of sense.
You don’t have to necessarily suffer from tomophobia, hemophobia (fear of blood), or trypanophobia (fear of needles) to feel a little anxious about cosmetic surgery.
The thought of lasers and scalpels approaching the skin would make anyone uneasy.
The fear only becomes a psychological issue when your anxious feelings become so severe you experience physical symptoms.
The mere thought of surgery may cause your stomach to hurt or chest to tighten. This is known as a panic attack.
Panic attacks are common with anxiety disorders. If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you may be more susceptible to surgical anxiety.
Keep in mind that you should never self-diagnose a mental health issue. If you suspect you have an anxiety disorder, you can find help by meeting with a psychological health expert.
What Causes Surgical Fears?
The reasons that breed fear of cosmetic surgery vary. Being afraid of the unknown is a big reason keeping many from the surgeon’s table. Another might be that you are associating all cosmetic surgeries with that one horrific experience you had in the past.
Here are ten common fears patients sometimes experience. Alongside each one is advice on how to overcome these fears so you can enjoy the amazing transformation cosmetic surgery can offer.
1- Are You Afraid of Experiencing Unfavorable Results?
The fear of your results not living up to your expectations is one of the most common heard by cosmetic surgeons. We’ve all heard horror stories or seen celebrity photos of cosmetic surgery procedures gone wrong. The question is: How can you make sure this doesn’t happen to you?
The best way to get the most favorable results after the surgical bandages come off is to take time finding the best cosmetic surgeon. Look for a board-certified cosmetic surgeon who has a good record performing the surgery you want. When meeting with surgeons, ask to see before and after images of their work so you can match your expectations with the cosmetic surgeon’s artistic skill.
2- Do You Fear Not Finding the Right Cosmetic Surgeon?
With so many cosmetic surgeons to choose from, how can you be sure to find the right one?
The best way to find a surgeon suitable for you is to ask friends, family, and co-workers for professionals they recommend.
Don’t take anyone’s word for it. Schedule consultations with several surgeons. Ask questions and pay close attention to the surgeon’s answers. Most importantly, listen to your gut. Ask to see before and after photographs and read online reviews. By scrutinizing experts in your area with several different criteria, you’ll be more likely to find the best cosmetic surgeon for your upcoming makeover.
3- Are You Afraid of Cosmetic Surgery Complications?
Every surgery comes with some level of risk. Before scheduling a cosmetic surgery, it is important to understand both the benefits of the procedure, and the risks to your health. The best cosmetic surgeon will provide you with a list of restrictions, such as quitting smoking up to six months before your surgery date, to reduce your risks.
4- Do You Fear Feeling Pain During or After Cosmetic Surgery?
No one can blame people who fear the pain of surgery. Botox injections involve sharp needles, and most surgeries involve the cutting of tissue.
Keep in mind that anesthesia will be used, which means you won’t feel a thing during the surgery. You may feel pressure if local anesthesia is used. However, advancements in pain management mean that you are unlikely to feel much discomfort at all, even with the most complex cosmetic techniques.
5- Are You Numb from Fear of Anesthesia?
For some people, it’s not the surgery itself but the effects of anesthesia that fill them with dread. They may fear being put to sleep and never waking up again.
Anesthesia is used during cosmetic surgery so that you won’t feel any of the poking or cutting associated with surgery. Being put to sleep also contributes to your safety, since you’re less likely to move around than if you were awake.
That being said, many of today’s popular cosmetic surgeries are performed using local anesthesia. You’re not put to sleep at all during these procedures. General anesthesia, the kind that does make you unconscious, is reserved for more complex cases like the tummy tuck and facelift.
To alleviate your fears even further, note that many of the anesthesia horror stories you may have heard involved people who were sick when they went in for surgery. This is why cosmetic surgeons make sure you are healthy before recommending a cosmetic procedure. Having a policy of only working with healthy patients is a good thing and significantly reduces the risks to your health.
6- Do You Have a Fear of Cosmetic Surgery Addiction?
Stories abound about people addicted to cosmetic surgery. However, reputable cosmetic surgeons will only perform surgeries on people who are psychologically healthy. Your surgeon will attempt to determine if you suffer from body dysmorphic disorder, for example, where no amount of surgery can contribute to body acceptance. These types of issues require the help of a psychological professional, not a cosmetic surgeon.
The fact is, if you take the time to find a reputable cosmetic surgeon, the professional you choose will have no interest in performing surgeries that are unnecessary. You can guarantee it.
7- Are You Afraid of Being Judged for Cosmetic Surgery?
More men are undergoing cosmetic surgery than at any other time in the past. The most popular surgical techniques for men include liposuction, eyelid surgery, nose surgery (rhinoplasty), male breast reduction (gynecomastia surgery), the facelift, and ear surgery.
Much of the fear men feel about surgery has to do with being judged. It’s not customary for men to spend money on the way they look. For many men, spending money on cosmetic surgery is a vain pursuit.
However, more men are seeing the positive benefits of surgery. If you are a man with a body part that causes you distress, why not erase that insecurity for good?
Gynecomastia surgery could give you all new confidence, as good nose surgery, eyelid surgery, or liposuction. Don’t worry about not appearing a certain way. By taking care of yourself and your looks, you are taking charge of your quality of life. If you have a chance to make your life better, why not go for it, despite what others may think?
Both men and women can share a fear of not wanting everyone to know they’ve had surgery. That’s understandable. After a short vacation, you might want to return to work without everyone knowing where you’ve been, or about the procedure you’ve undergone.
Whereas cosmetic surgery may have been viewed as a vain pursuit before, today people are far more open minded. Everyone wishes to look good. You’d be surprised to learn that most people don’t care that you’ve had surgery. They may ask about your surgeon because they, too, want to jump on board.
It’s all about confidence. When you’ve spent time preparing for your surgery, and then go through with it, stand behind your decision and stop caring what others think of you. You’ll look great and be much better off.
8- Are Your Cosmetic Surgery Fears Related to Dying?
This common fear is similar to the anxiety of anesthesia. You fear not waking up from the surgeon’s table.
Just like the horror stories with anesthesia, the deaths you might have heard about cosmetic surgery usually involve people with underlying health conditions. That means they went into surgery with an elevated risk of mortality.
Your cosmetic surgeon will ensure all precautions are taken to keep your risk of dying as low as possible.
The biggest danger during cosmetic surgery comes from blood clots. Reducing the risk of clotting involves the administering a limited amount of anesthesia so that you become alert more quickly following surgery.
You’ll also be encouraged to move your extremities once you have awakened from surgery to increase your blood circulation.
The risk of dying during cosmetic surgery is about the same as your risk of dying from a plane crash. In other words, the chances are exceptionally low.
Do You Fear Your Cosmetic Surgery Results Not Lasting?
Aside from a fear of unfavorable results, many patients want to know how long their results will last.
While every effort is made to provide you with long-lasting aesthetic effects, cosmetic surgery does not last forever.
The longevity of your results depends on the type of procedure, your age, and the expectations you hold. You can preserve your results by taking care of yourself, eating right, exercising, drinking plenty of water, and keeping your weight stable.
9- Do You Fear the Cost of Cosmetic Surgery?
Maybe you’re anxious about spending so much money on making yourself look better. Or you fear going broke entirely.
Instead of focusing on the expense of cosmetic surgery, hone your mind in on the value the procedure will provide.
If you have a deep insecurity, the right procedure could give you a new lease on life.
There are ways to get help with your surgical fees, such as medical financing and crowd sourcing. Health insurance could even be an option to help you pay for surgery if the procedure is deemed medically necessary, such as a breast lift if your heavy breasts give you back pain.
Here’s another way to look at it: The cheapest cosmetic surgeon isn’t always the best. Choose a cheap surgeon and you might find yourself spending more money fixing your botched results than you did on the original surgery.
Finding the best surgeon and paying a bit more is what you want. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. The best cosmetic surgeons have skill, technique, training, and can charge higher fees accordingly. Paying those higher fees is the best way to assure stellar results, making your surgery well worth the expense.
5 Ways to Alleviate Fears of Cosmetic Surgery
If your fear of aesthetic surgery is listed above, you now have ways of alleviating your trepidations and bolstering your confidence in your cosmetic surgeon.
Here are five more ways you can make yourself feel better about surgically improving yourself with the procedure of your choice.
Becoming well informed regarding the procedure you want is a key step in dealing with surgical anxiety. You’ll want to gain a complete understanding of the surgical technique, why you are getting it, and how the procedure is performed. Learning all you can about cosmetic surgery makes the concept of surgery less scary.
You can further your education by asking your cosmetic surgeon plenty of questions. The answers you receive can help you feel better about your surgeon and the procedure you’re asking about. You’ll gain more knowledge, but you’ll also be able to determine if you have rapport with your surgeon. Surgeon rapport contributes to you being relaxed, which increases your likelihood of experiencing a positive outcome.
Answers to your questions will also teach you about the risks to your health, fees charged, and whether insurance is likely to cover the procedure.
Tell Your Surgeon About Your Cosmetic Surgeon Fears
Your cosmetic surgeon can give you a realistic idea of what you can expect from the surgery. You can learn more about recovery, and the results you can achieve. If you have had an unpleasant experience with cosmetic surgery in the past, or know someone who has, conveying your anxieties to your surgeon can give you reassurance. After all, everyone is different, and you’re unique. If you’ve put effort into finding the most skilled and talented surgeon, you should feel assured you’re in good hands.
After scheduling surgery, you might have all this anxiety built up. And it only seems to get worse the closer your surgery date gets.
The way you are feeling is normal, but you don’t have to let your thoughts and emotions control you.
Distracting yourself is an excellent way to deter invasive thoughts that cause or intensify your anxiety. Keep yourself occupied by streaming a TV show, reading a book, or listening to music. These tips sound simple, but they are effective, especially when your mind tends to get away from you.
Learn About Pre-Surgery Care
In addition to binging Netflix, you can distract yourself by occupying your mind with certain tasks. Namely, you can prepare for your upcoming surgical procedure. Getting ready for the day of surgery can occupy your mind so you’re not so focused on whatever you fear most.
Tasks to engage in could include packing a bag for the surgical center. You’ll want to bring a change of clothes, toiletry items, a phone charger, snacks, and something to keep you busy like an iPad or a good book.
Arrange to have a ride home from the surgical center after you have spent some time in recovery. That person could also help you with day-to-day chores for up to 24 hours afterward.
Maintain Good Health
You can alleviate risks to your health and many fears by trying to be in the best shape possible as you approach your surgery date. Taking care of your body will help you feel good and think more clearly, as well as aid in recovery after your procedure.
Do your best to eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest, and exercise as often as you can. Drink plenty of water while you’re at it and supplement your diet with necessary vitamins and nutrients like zinc, iron, and B12.
Stay Focused on the Outcome
Keeping your mind on the results you are about to achieve with cosmetic surgery can help you feel less fearful. You might soon find yourself beaming with confidence. Cosmetic surgery can do wonders for a person’s self-esteem and body image. Shapelier breasts, a slimmer profile, an age-defying facelift, or any other cosmetic technique can make you see yourself in a whole new light.
Others might not necessarily know you’ve had surgery, but they can tell something’s different, and figure it must be your confidence. Looking forward to the way you look after your procedure is the best way to remain calm and positive throughout your experience.
Whether you are looking for a nose job, breast implants, gynecomastia surgery, a mommy makeover, or daddy do-over, slough your fears aside and schedule a consultation for cosmetic surgery by calling Moein Surgical Arts in Los Angeles, CA. – (310)694-4486.