Understanding The Psychological Stages Of Plastic Surgery

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When you schedule your plastic surgery procedure, chances are you will experience a wave of emotions both leading up to, during, and after your surgery. It’s important to know that these emotions are completely normal and, by preparing to experience them, you can better manage these emotions when they strike. Below, we describe five psychological stages that many patients experience throughout their plastic surgery journey.

Stage 1: Pre-Surgery Anxiety

Plastic surgery is a big deal and every person wants to feel 100% sure of their decision, however with any big change there will always be some level of apprehension and even anxiety. Many patients feel nervous leading up to their surgery, whether it’s because they’re scared of the actual surgery itself or they’re unsure about whether they’ll regret their decision later. It’s very normal to have pre-surgery jitters, and the best thing you can do to help mitigate these feelings and calm your nerves is to speak with your surgeon about your fears, share your expectations and goals for the procedure, and allow them to reassure you that everything is going to be fine. They’ll be able to give you a better idea of what to expect, and it’s comforting knowing that you’ll be supported every step of the way! 

Stage 2: Post-Surgery Blues

Many people forget that plastic surgery procedures are legitimate surgical procedures. Your body is undergoing an intense process, and that exhaustion combined with the effects of anesthesia, antibiotics, pain meds, and any initial post-surgery discomfort you may feel can leave you feeling a bit down in the dumps after your procedure. This is completely normal, and the majority of people only experience this stage for a short time. Remind yourself that these feelings are temporary, and keep your thoughts positive by thinking about how incredible your final results are going to be! It will all be worth it in the end. In the meantime, be sure to get plenty of sleep and give your body and mind a chance to heal. 

Stage 3: Healing Impatience

Healing after a major surgery takes time and it can also be an exhausting experience. Depending on your procedure, you will likely have bad bruising, swelling, and incisions with stitches. All of these things are routine, but they can look scary and cause undue worry for patients. In addition to that, depending on what plastic surgery procedure you underwent it’s possible that you’ll have a healing period of a few weeks, and in some cases up to a few months. As you heal, you may feel like you’re missing out on social activities, your regular hobbies, and the “real world”. Instead of being upset, take advantage of this time to yourself—read a new book, try a new sedentary activity, or catch up with friends on the phone!

Stage 4: Self-Critique

At this point you may have healed well, but you might still see some post-procedure scarring and the area that you had work done on may look a little “off”. You might start question your decision to undergo the procedure. Keep in mind that full recovery for these procedures can take time, and you’re not going to see instant results overnight. For many patients it takes months before their final results are revealed, and some of the in-between progress during the healing process might not look quite how you imagined. Be kind to yourself and wait until your full recovery time before you start second-guessing your choice. Your plastic surgery team should be able to give you a realistic timeline for your recovery and results, which should help with this part of the process and assure you that you’re on the right track! 

Stage 5: Excited and Happy 

Once you’ve healed completely a few months after your surgery, you will likely be excited about your plastic surgery results. There’s nothing more incredible than seeing the changes in your body that you’ve always dreamed of actually becoming a reality! This is your time to thank yourself for putting your aesthetic goals first and going after what you wanted.

 Getting plastic surgery is a long journey, and you’ll experience many emotions along the way. The most important thing to remember is that everything you are feeling throughout each stage of the process is completely normal, and it’s so important to find a plastic surgery team that understands what you’re going through and is there to support you every step of the way! If you’re looking to schedule plastic surgery in Orlando, call HZ Plastic Surgery today to discuss your goals.