Cosmetic surgery is becoming more popular than ever. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) states that more than 18 million people underwent surgical or minimally invasive procedures in 2018. That number has skyrocketed by 200% since 2000.
Before undergoing cosmetic surgery, it is important to understand what to expect before, during, and after your procedure.
For this reason, we put our utmost focus into patient education at Moein Surgical Arts.
From the day of the initial consultation to your surgery and the aftercare you require later, we want you to be fully cognizant of what to expect.
One aspect of surgery that isn’t often covered is the healing period.
We covered healing and recovery in our latest article. Read it over for real-life tips you can use to heal easier following your cosmetic procedure.
The Feelings You Experience Before Your Cosmetic Surgery
This time, it’s important to discuss the feelings and emotions you can experience while healing up. Here are some examples.
When having cosmetic surgery, you can’t wait for the ultimate unveiling. This is when your bandages come off, the swelling goes down, and the results of your cosmetic surgery shine through. What a thrill!
You might find yourself second-guessing your decision. Should you have opted for smaller, subtler breast implants? Should you have chosen minimally-invasive Renuvion for skin tightening instead of undergoing a facelift? These invasive thoughts are a normal part of the recovery process.
For at least a short time, no amount of positioning can make you comfortable. You may even have to sleep a certain way that feels unnatural, leading to a lack of quality sleep. And when your sleep suffers, you can begin to feel more uncomfortable, putting you in a vicious cycle that leaves you tired and moody.
You might become defensive about other people’s opinions about your choice of surgery. And if anyone dares criticize you during this time, world watch out!
You wonder what your results will look like once the swelling resolves. Will your results match up with the expectations in your head? This leaves you awaiting the day the bandages come off and the swelling goes down for the ultimate reveal.
You might feel unsure of what is normal during the recovery process. Are you supposed to be swelling this much? Are you supposed to be numb there? You might have questions that can only be answered by your cosmetic surgeon and your recovery team.
You might be worried about scarring or the risks of complications occurring. Your emotional distress can be compounded by a lack of exercise. During recovery, you are asked to refrain from your usual routine until fully healed, which can leave you increasingly antsy and a bit out of sorts.
You might feel downcast for a little while after your surgery has been completed. You might feel guilty about having surgery or regret having surgery entirely.
Whether you plan to undergo a breast augmentation, facelift, tummy tuck, or liposuction, you need to recognize that these emotional ups and downs are a normal part of the healing process. They are also temporary.
Let’s look at those emotions in greater detail so there are no surprises during your cosmetic surgery recovery.
Excitement for Your Cosmetic Surgery Results
Most people experience a surge of confidence after cosmetic surgery. Their entire self-image changes. Your self-image is your perception of how you believe you look to others. Having a positive self-image is important, and cosmetic surgery can give it to you.
While looks are not everything, and your worth certainly is not based on your looks, your appearance is important. The way you look influences the way you are perceived and looking your best could benefit you in all aspects of your life.
Cosmetic surgery is meant for those parts of yourself that may cause you distress. You may want a smaller nose, shapelier breasts, or a more voluminous butt. It’s for those instances when you feel a physical aspect of yourself diminishes your attractiveness. By correcting your insecurities, cosmetic surgery can renew your confidence and improve your quality of life.
You only get one spin around this globe. You might as well have a positive self-image while you’re blessed to be alive. Your cosmetic surgery results will soon reveal themselves once you heal. That’s certainly something to be excited about.
Buyer’s remorse is common with other major purchases like when buying a vehicle or home. You spend all this time working up to the eventual transaction. Then, once it happens and you’ve secured the car or house, you wonder if you made the right decision. Instead of questioning if you should have bought a bigger vehicle or larger home, you’re wondering if you had the right type of cosmetic surgery.
You can mitigate the risk of feeling that you somehow chose the wrong procedure by doing your due diligence ahead of time.
Spend time looking through before and after images online. Have realistic expectations for the procedure you want and only schedule a particular surgery after you are completely certain that’s the one you want.
What does it mean to have realistic expectations? It is unrealistic to think you’ll look like someone else following your procedure, such as a celebrity or model. To be realistic about your results is to understand that minor imperfections are no big deal. It is important to keep things in perspective. You’re always going to be you. It’s still your skin. Your skin has merely been tightened or your dimensions improved. If you frame your results with rationality, you’ll be more objectively pleased with the outcomes you receive. Nobody’s perfect, even after cosmetic surgery. You can improve your looks, however, which cosmetic surgery aims to do.
By using the word uncomfortable, we don’t necessarily mean pain. Cosmetic surgery technology has come a long way in recent years. Many procedures offer little to no pain, even during the healing process. Any pain or discomfort you do feel can be easily managed with over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers and should fade quickly.
The lack of comfort might come from your inability to sleep at night. Having breast surgery, for instance, might cause you to have to sleep on your back with your spine slightly elevated. Sleeping in a recliner is often suggested.
Regardless of any sleep restrictions or your level of comfort, you must try and get adequate sleep at night. Healing requires adequate sleep. If you want effective healing, you’ll have to make sleep a priority. Getting a good night’s rest each night can also help to regulate your mood. That means you could bypass the post-surgery emotional roller coaster altogether if you manage to get the right amount of Z’s.
Your emotions can feel a bit raw after cosmetic surgery, at least for a short time. Like a snapping turtle, you may be ready to lash out at family, friends, and even your pets if they ask about your surgery or otherwise look at you the wrong way. This is especially true of any remarks that border on criticism.
Be aware that being emotionally sensitive is possible. You can prepare by being ready with deep breathing exercises or visualization exercises to distract you. Breathing deeply for ten breaths might be enough to calm you down.
Another trick is to envision the last time you felt the most relaxed and at ease. Whenever you feel moody or aggressive during recovery, bring that confident memory to mind. Doing so could be enough to ease your nerves until your raw emotions pass.
If you encounter anyone critical of your decision to have cosmetic surgery, you don’t have to respond to them at all. If you feel a reply is necessary, keep it short. Say something like, “I chose the procedure for me, and it makes me feel better about myself.” The best response is not to respond at all. After all, you don’t owe anyone an explanation.
You can have such overwhelming expectations for the results you are about to see on your face or body that you may feel a bit let down after the bandages come off. This feeling of disappointment is common and should be expected. Your body needs time to heal after your surgery, and your results thus need time to reveal themselves.
As your body goes through the natural process of healing, you may see swelling at the treatment site for weeks or even months afterward, depending on how quickly your body heals. Therefore, you need to have patience after surgery. Give your results time to blossom. You might look good six weeks or six months after surgery, but you’ll eventually get there. Having realistic expectations is key to making sure your hopes match up with reality when the final unveiling happens.
During the healing stage, you may find yourself Googling your symptoms, wondering if they’re normal. This is never a good idea. You can convince yourself you’re suffering from a mix of ailments once you traverse down the WebMD rabbit hole.
The better idea is to communicate often with your cosmetic surgeon. Anything you are worried about can be relayed to your surgeon for personalized advice as it relates to your care. What you should never do is ask another cosmetic surgeon. Other professionals might be quick to gain your business and ready to disparage any surgeon’s handiwork in hopes you’ll switch aesthetic providers.
Your cosmetic surgeon knows your case and how to give you the results you discussed during the initial consultation. Make sure you follow through with your treatment plan and collaborate closely with your surgeon. That way, you remain informed and at ease every step of the way during and after your recovery.
You may be anxious about the way the surgical site looks during your recovery. Your incisions may appear red and inflamed, causing you to worry they may scar badly. You may have numbness at the treatment site, leaving you to wonder if the lack of sensation may be permanent.
Cosmetic surgeons are trained to place incisions in inconspicuous areas. This leaves the scars to heal within the natural folds of your body, in most cases. You’ll still have a scar, but they won’t be as noticeable as your fears may lead you to believe.
You can reduce scars by keeping your diet healthy. Eat nutritious foods rich in zinc, iron, and Vitamin C, as these nutrients are key to healing efficiently after cosmetic surgery.
Avoid exposing your scars to excessive sunlight for at least six to twelve months after surgery or they could darken, making them more obvious. Exercise that puts pressure on your scars should also be avoided. Keep to gentle exercise for seven to ten days and only go back to strenuous exercise after six weeks have passed.
if you do feel stress, it is important not to fall into bad habits to relieve yourself, such as smoking. Nicotine decreases blood flow to the skin and thus can slow the healing process.
Some people, not all, can become downcast in the first few weeks after surgery. If you are prone to anxiety or depression, you may feel somewhat depressed after surgery. It’s often called the “30-day blues” similar to post-partum depression.
It is important to be conscious that this depression after surgery is possible. You can mitigate these feelings after cosmetic surgery by being active and keeping close to your social circle for support. If your mood is still dark after a few weeks, consult your doctor.
Schedule Your Cosmetic Surgery Recovery Strategically
You’re now more aware that your emotions could dip up and down while your body is healing from surgery. Knowing this, it might help to plan the surgery during a time when you anticipate this emotional roller coaster. If you work weekdays, schedule later in the week to allow for a weekend to pass before returning to work.
If you feel at any time that your feelings after surgery are more serious than a temporary dip in your mood, contact your surgeon or nursing team for helpful suggestions.
Any emotional instability you feel after cosmetic surgery should not last long. Once the light shines through the clouds, you’ll be able to enjoy the results of your procedure to the fullest.
Even if you experience this mixed bag of emotions, the science is in your favor. Studies show that patients who undergo cosmetic surgery have positive psychological outcomes after the clouds have lifted.
Cosmetic surgery can bring dramatic and lasting changes to your exterior. These changes may affect you on the inside as well. Now that you’re more aware of these changes, you can ensure stellar results and a smoother recovery after cosmetic surgery by calling Moein Surgical Arts. Book today in Los Angeles, Encino, or Glendale, California. (310)694-4486.