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Plastic Surgery

Feeling Emotional after Plastic Surgery? It’s Totally Normal

Mariotti - Plastic Surgery - February 2022

Feeling down or not quite yourself after getting a tummy tuck, breast augmentation or other plastic surgery? You’re not alone. Postoperative depression is quite common, affecting an estimated 25% of cosmetic surgery patients to some degree. However, the good news is that in the vast majority of cases, these feelings resolve on their own following the initial recovery period.

Knowing what to expect after plastic surgery and what you can do to help boost your mental health as you recover are some of the best ways to beat the post-op blues. Use this guide to help you prepare for plastic surgery and know what questions about the recovery process to ask your plastic surgeon prior to your procedure.

What Causes the Plastic Surgery Blues?

A number of factors can contribute to feelings of depression, regret or remorse immediately following plastic surgery. A few of the most common causes of post-operative depression include:

  • General anesthesia. The effects of anesthesia can take some time to fully wear off, which could leave you feeling a little out of sorts in the first day or two of recovery.
  • Pain medication. For some people, pain medications can cause lethargy or depression, which may be enhanced by the temporary residual effects of anesthesia noted above.
  • Physical restrictions. Some people begin to feel “stir crazy” after a few days of recovery on the couch and limiting physical activity.
  • Temporary discomfort. Discomfort, tenderness and feelings of tightness are normal after plastic surgery. However, it is important to remember that these effects are only temporary and will continue to get better as your body heals.

How Long Does Depression Last after Plastic Surgery?

Don’t hesitate to reach out to your plastic surgeon or a mental health professional if you need help coping after plastic surgery.

If you are one of the people struggling with depression, anxiety or even feelings of regret after getting plastic surgery, know that it is, in the vast majority of cases, only temporary. Most people begin to feel better mentally and physically within just a few days or weeks after getting plastic surgery, though it can take a few months for others to fully feel like themselves again.

How to Boost Your Mental Health after Plastic Surgery

Aside from seeking professional help — which is absolutely normal and a great resource for those struggling with depression — there are a number of things you can do to help boost your mental health and rid your recovery of the plastic surgery blues.

  • Reach out to friends and family for support. Having a great support system is one of the best ways to beat feelings of sadness or regret after any type of surgery. Don’t hesitate to reach out to close friends and family members, or even your plastic surgeon, for support.
  • Allow yourself to rest and relax without feeling guilty. Everyone needs to take some time for themselves to rest and recharge on occasion, even busy moms and dads. Let yourself take a break so your body can heal and you can get back to the things you enjoy the most as quickly and safely as possible.
  • Nourish your body with healthy foods. As good as it might sound to indulge in sweet treats as you recover, your body really needs healthy nourishment from fruits and vegetables to optimize its healing process.


Feeling Emotional after Plastic Surgery? It’s Totally Normal
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Feeling Emotional after Plastic Surgery? It’s Totally Normal
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Eric Mariotti in Concord, CA explains why you might feel emotional after plastic surgery and shares some tips for recovery.
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February 21, 2022
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