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What is Post Surgery Depression?

post surgery depression

As we move into 2022 we’re going to start seeing a lot of people working on themselves. At the stroke of midnight on December 31st, millions of people across the country have told themselves that they are going to start eating healthier, working out more, and generally living a better life, but the majority of those people will only make it a few weeks before reverting back to their old ways.

In some cases folks will decide that putting in the work is too hard, or the parts of their body they want to change may not improve through typical means. They may need some outside help.

Plastic surgery can be a great way to help get yourself back into the body you’ve always wanted, or the body you had when you were younger. It can help improve your self-esteem, it can help boost your confidence level, and overall, it can just make you feel better about yourself. And ultimately that’s what new year’s resolutions are supposed to do.

But there are some people whose lives don’t improve as well as they might have thought of, or have other circumstances that can lead them to fall into a depressed state after undergoing plastic surgery.

Post-surgery depression is actually more common than you might think, but there are ways to get through it and deal with it that will help you in the long run.

Depression After Surgery

First off, we want to state that depression after surgery is normal and relatively common in a lot of patients. Most of the time it will come and go and once you’re fully healed from your procedure and things are starting to look more normal, you’ll begin to feel better about yourself. But since not everyone deals with depression the same way, and the things causing the depression aren’t the same for everyone, it’s important that we talk about it.

Most depression after surgery stems from unmanaged expectations. Immediately after your surgery, and for subsequent weeks while you heal, you’re not going to feel your best or look your best. Depending on what procedure or procedures you’ve had done, recovery time can be uncomfortable and painful. There is going to be swelling, puffiness, and redness as your body recovers from the surgery.

During this period depression can kick in as patients maybe don’t think that they look as good as they thought, or that they didn’t realize how uncomfortable they might be during recovery. This is all normal. You’re going to have good and bad days post-op and the thing to remember is that your body will heal itself and you’ll begin to feel more and more like yourself as time goes on.

The other thing you need to remember is not to set your expectations too high and to listen to your doctor.

Some people go into plastic surgery expecting life changing results and drastic improvements, but that’s not always the case. If you have a good surgeon, they should be properly helping you manage expectations so that you’re not disappointed after the surgery is complete. A good surgeon will be able to help you dial in exactly what you should expect from the surgery based on your body type and what you’re looking to have done.

Some level of depression is going to be normal after having plastic surgery, but if you’re almost through the healing process and you’re starting to physically feel like yourself again, but your depression isn’t subsiding, then it may be time to speak with a professional.

In some cases people use plastic surgery as a way to help cope with their depression. Maybe they are depressed because of the way they look, which is leading to lowered self-esteem, or something along those lines. And they are looking to plastic surgery as the solution to that depression when that might not be the fix they need.

If you are still suffering from depression after fully healing and getting the ok from your surgeon, then the root cause of your depression may still be affecting you and it may be time to seek help from a therapist.

Managing Plastic Surgery Expectations to Limit Depression

As we mentioned, properly managing your expectations within your self and with the guidance of your doctor, are the best ways to help lower the risks of developing post-surgery depression. Understanding how long it will take to fully heal and for your body to settle into its new form and structure is important in the process.

Make sure to ask lots of questions and make sure you find a doctor that isn’t afraid to be straight with you and isn’t just telling you what you want to hear. A doctor that truly cares won’t worry about losing a patient by telling them the truth about what they can expect after having a surgical procedure.

At Dr. Adams Plastic Surgery, we truly care about our patients and want what’s best for them. If you have any questions regarding plastic surgery procedures or post-surgery depression, please contact us today.


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