The emotional rollercoaster: Managing pre and post-operative anxiety

Breast Augmentation / Breast Reduction / Tummy Tucks / Breast Lift / Post Pregnancy Surgery / Surgical Tips

24 Nov 2022

The emotional rollercoaster: Managing pre and post-operative anxiety

Breast and body surgery focuses on physical changes, but patients also experience a rollercoaster of emotions along the way. We know this after operating on thousands of women and it is completely normal to feel this way.

Even if you think these thoughts or feelings may not affect you, it is better to be prepared and aware in case they do. Dr Moncrieff and our team are here for you along this journey and are happy to help you through the ups and downs.

Before surgery

In the lead-up to surgery you might feel nervous or anxious and question if you are making the right decision. In this time, you should focus your motivation on why you chose to have surgery in the first place and talk to your trusted support person about your feelings. This is not the time to torture yourself by searching online for bad plastic surgery results or talk to people you know don't support your decision.

If you are feeling especially nervous in the lead up to surgery, please let Dr Moncrieff know at your pre-operative appointment. We want to ensure you are feeling as safe and sure about your upcoming procedure as possible!

However, please understand that if you are displaying signs of excessive anxiety, Dr Moncrieff may have to consider your total health and readiness for surgery. He has a duty of care that extends not only to ensuring your physical health but mental health too. This may lead to your surgery being postponed or cancelled in extreme cases.

After surgery

It is easier on you and your support person if you expect things to be a little rocky!

The most common reaction is to be excited about the results but uncomfortable for the first few days.

Then, out of no-where, you may find yourself down in the dumps because you’re not feeling the way you want. This is often because you haven’t been able to be as active as you would like, don't like wearing your garment, have trouble sleeping in a position you don't normally use, and have discomfort and swelling that makes it hard to feel 'normal'. It can be a tough time!

We often see patients become anxious at this stage and overly critical of their early results. While recovering, we recommend distancing yourself from ‘the person in the mirror’ for at least the first few weeks after surgery. Before surgery, we know what to expect from the mirror every time we take a peek. After surgery, that reflection is suddenly shifted. Changes will happen rapidly at first and then continue up until at least six months post-surgery. For this reason, we can’t comment on shape, size or symmetry for at least six months after your procedure until you are closer to reaching your final result.

The light at the end of the tunnel

Normally after about 2 weeks you begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel and start feeling more like your usual self. But it is completely normal to have your mood go up and down in the weeks, and even months, that follow. Around 3 -6 months is when most patients report they feel fully recovered.

I’m struggling emotionally – what should I do?

Please do not hesitate to reach out to our team for support. Many of our team members have undergone breast and body surgery themselves and are here for you every step of the way. If you are severely struggling on the emotional rollercoaster, there is no shame in seeking the help of a professional counsellor or psychologist.

More blogs that you may be interested in:

The emotional rollercoaster: Managing pre and post-operative anxiety

Blog Author:

Jessica Laing, Practice Manager, Hunter Plastic Surgery

About Jessica

Jessica joined our team in 2010 and has worked very closely with Dr Moncrieff as Patient Manager and then Practice Manager since 2015. 

Her commitment and care for patients is legendary. She has even won awards for her focus on service including at the 2020 Stevie Global Sales and Customer Service Awards as Young Customer Service Professional of the Year, as the Australasian Practice Manager of the Year at the 2019 MyFaceMyBody Global Awards and at the 2017 Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards. Jessica holds nursing qualifications and is currently completing her Bachelor's Degree in Registered Nursing.

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