How to Manage Your Stress Before Undergoing Cosmetic Surgery
Managing stress is crucial for a smooth and successful cosmetic surgery experience
Cosmetic surgery is a life-changing decision, and it's natural to feel a mix of emotions before the big day. While excitement and anticipation are the foremost emotions that my patients usually feel, I have seen most of my patients struggle with pre-op stress, which is natural. The stress is usually related to the following:
- Will the results meet my expectations?
- Hope the surgeon will perform a safe and successful surgery.
- What are the potential risks and complications?
- Is the chosen surgical facility accredited and safe?
- What type of anaesthesia will be used during the surgery?
- What is the recovery process and timeline?
- How can I manage post-surgery discomfort and pain?
All these are very natural and reasonable doubts that can cause stress to aspiring patients. However, managing this stress is crucial for a smooth and successful cosmetic surgery experience and recovery after that. Stress and anxiety can potentially disturb healing journey post-surgery.
Stay calm and practice meditation a few weeks before the surgery. Along with that, here are few imperative points to be taken care of and practiced if you are looking for a positive and successful outcome from your cosmetic surgery.
Educate Yourself Completely About the Surgery You Are Undergoing
Knowledge is power. Start by thoroughly researching your chosen procedure. Understand the process, potential risks, and expected results. Consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who specialises in the treatment you desire. Ask as many questions as you can and address all your concerns. An experienced and concerned surgeon will never hesitate to answer all your queries.
Lean on Your Support System
Share your decision to undergo cosmetic surgery with a trusted friend or family member who can provide emotional support throughout your journey. Also, having someone by your side on the day of surgery can be reassuring. Make sure there is someone to take you home on the day you return home. Keep an open conversation with your person about your discomforts and seek necessary support.
Set Realistic Expectations
Cosmetic surgery can enhance your appearance but cannot completely change your appearance for someone else. Therefore, it's essential to have realistic expectations. It's not a magic wand, and results may vary. Discuss your goals with your surgeon and ensure they align with what's achievable.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Explore relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to manage pre-surgery stress. These practices can help calm your nerves and reduce anxiety. Make sure to start this practice at least 3-4 weeks before the surgery. Going for swimming a month before surgery can help your body be more agile and your mind relax.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Leading a healthy lifestyle before surgery can improve your recovery. Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and stay hydrated. Avoid alcohol, smoking, and excessive caffeine in the weeks leading up to your procedure. Incorporate healthy carbs, proteins, vitamins, and iron in your daily foods. These keep your body more receptive to surgery and keep your mind balanced and calm.
Stay Positive and Focused
Keep a positive mindset and focus on the benefits of the surgery. Visualise your desired outcome and the improved confidence it will bring. Count on how many compliments you will get for your enhanced appearance after the surgery. Surround yourself with positivity and avoid negativity that may increase anxiety.
Trust Your Surgeon for their Experience and Expertise
Choose a surgeon with whom you feel comfortable and who you trust completely. For that, checking your surgeon's experience, qualifications, and track record is crucial. Research thoroughly, read about the surgeon, check the reviews and make sure you check the before and after results. Open communication is key. Discuss your expectations, fears, and doubts with your surgeon during the consultation.
Plan and Prepare in Advance
Plan your surgery well in advance to minimise last-minute stress. Arrange for time off work, transportation, and post-op care. Prepare your home for your recovery, stocking up on necessities and creating a comfortable and restful environment. You can even stock up on your favourite books and movies and ask a loved one to stay with you during the recovery period.
Follow Pre-Op and Post-Op Instructions
Your surgeon will provide specific instructions to be followed before and after surgery. Follow them meticulously to ensure the best possible outcome. This may include guidelines on medications, diet, and fasting before surgery, and precautions to be taken after that. This will help you to maximise the chances of best results and reduce stress to a great extent.
Remember, it's entirely normal to experience pre-surgery jitters. However, by taking proactive steps to manage stress, you can enter your cosmetic surgery journey with confidence and peace of mind.
Your surgeon and support system are there to guide and assist you every step of the way. A positive mindset and thorough preparation are your best friends in achieving the best surgical outcome without stress.
So take a deep breath, relax, and get ready to embrace the transformative journey ahead!
About the Author
Dr. Rajat Gupta, Delhi-based board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of RG Aesthetics
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