The mere desire to undergo a cosmetic surgery procedure is incredibly personal. Deciding to see a plastic surgeon, to ask questions, to actually take those steps toward the You you wish to see in the mirror, can be exciting as well as intimidating. The emotional rollercoaster of cosmetic surgery may begin early. The thing is, most people expect a steady climb, and then a steady fall into their new Self. This isn’t exactly how it happens.
It is important to us that our patients know what to expect before, during, and after their cosmetic procedure. The truth is that a range of emotions may occur as surgery approaches and even after surgery has been completed. Patients may feel the jitters before they meet us for the first time, and also right before surgery. After surgery, there is such a thing as getting the blues. Therefore, emotional preparation is just as beneficial as physical preparation before cosmetic surgery. Here, we want to point out a few of the emotions that may be experienced, and when they usually appear, after a cosmetic procedure.
Week One – What have I done?
The first three to five days after cosmetic surgery is when the most swelling, bruising, and soreness are experienced. This is the time during which physical and social engagement is the most limited. With all that time spent doing nothing but resting, it is easy for negative or fearful doubts to creep in.
Weeks Two and Three – I look different.
It is easy to think that, once swelling begins to subside and the physical changes that were desired begin to show, all conflicting feelings magically disappear. In most cases, this is the point in recovery when it becomes clear that the face or body isn’t the same. As much as this was the intended goal, it can be challenging to feel somewhat unrecognizable, to have a new look to get used to.
Weeks 3 to 12 – Oops!
Between month one and month three, a lot of healing is taking place. This means gradual changes that bring out the new look more and more by the day. Some patients question whether or not their new look is going to suit them the way their old look did (even though it was a look they wanted to change). When it comes down to it, change is hard even when it is our choice.
Months 3 to 6 – I love the new Me!
Most cosmetic procedures achieve their peak between three and six months post-op. This means swelling has subsided enough to see the final results of surgery. At this point after treatment, most patients sense their enhanced confidence and satisfaction with the changes they have made to their face or body. According to statistics, 96% of tummy tuck patients are elated with their results. The same is reported by 95% of breast augmentation patients, and 90% of facelift patients.