Although research shows that as many as 85-95 % of patients undergoing cosmetic surgery are ultimately happy or very happy with the results and see a significant improvement in their body image and self image, there may be some serious hurdles to face in the interim. In fact, the majority of patients undergo some form of postoperative depression before feeling the positive emotional effects of surgery.
There are many reasons why people get postoperative blues. Some procedures, like nose surgery and breast enlargement with implants, can take months to show their full results, and the interim results may not be fully satisfying. Even a facelift, with a relatively short recovery period, can cause significant bruising over the short term that can lead to doubt about the final results. Other times, the recovery period following the procedure may require an independent person to rely on others for assistance, which can lead to frustration and depression. And even minor complications can add significantly to depression.
Here are some ways to counter postoperative depression:
- Be prepared to feel worse before you feel better. If you're prepared for the depression, the odds are you will recognize it for what it is. Also, be prepared for complications and know they will pass.
- Make sure and arrange for things to be taken care of during your recovery. Knowing things aren't being done while you're laid up can create additional stress.
- Have a few friends over sometimes to help your mood, but avoid high-stress get-togethers. This may mean making sure the kids and other family members who tend to create stress are elsewhere during your recovery.
- Arrange to go through your procedure at the same time as a friend so you can freely share stories during recovery.
- Know the timetable for your final results and look forward to them.
If you have realistic expectations for your cosmetic surgery, the odds are you will be delighted with the final outcome. The recovery can be rough, but if you're prepared for it, it won't be as bad.