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Cosmetic Surgery - Beating the Post-Operative Blues

Cosmetic surgery may be a popular option for improving the face or body, but what about the spirit? Learn about common reasons for depression after surgery, and how to beat those recovery blues.

For decades, Americans have been taking advantage of cosmetic surgery to help them look and feel younger, correct imbalanced or unattractive features, or simply to add a little extra boost to their natural beauty. As technology becomes more advanced, these procedures become more versatile, less expensive, and pose a lower risk, making them more attractive options to a larger demographic of Americans. While a majority of procedures are highly successful and typically result in patients being exceptionally pleased with the outcome, in some cases, a patient regrets the decision to go under the knife---usually because she wasnít told exactly what to expect from the procedure, and underestimated the difficulty of the recovery process. Like any major operation, cosmetic surgery takes a toll on the body, and it can take weeks, or even months, for the body to fully adjust to the physical changes the procedure has caused. If youíre considering plastic surgery as an option for improving your appearance, itís important for you to do all the necessary research and know what to expect before you make the commitment.

Cosmetic surgery can be an emotionally challenging experience, particularly without the strong support of friends and family. Studies show that nearly half of patients suffer from marked depression following an elective surgical procedure, although most often, it fades within a few days. Pain, stress, recovery from anesthesia, and a general feeling of being overwhelmed and isolated are common, and can lead to strong feelings of depression. However, those who are not emotionally prepared for the results of the operation or do not have a positive self-image going into the process are likely to have a more difficult time handling their emotions after going home from the hospital. Many have unrealistic expectations of procedures, expecting a physical change to suddenly bring about a new, happier person, and are disappointed to find the same internal struggles and insecurities may exist and need to be addressed. Others need help adjusting to a dramatic change, and may suddenly feel a loss of identity.

Before making the choice to undergo any procedures, itís important to have a full physical and psychological evaluation, as well as to ask your doctor any relevant questions about the surgery itself, and the recovery process you will undergo after. Effective communication with your surgeon will help reduce the chance that you will be genuinely displeased with your surgery, or see a change in your body for which you were not quite prepared. Most surgeons offer both pre-operative and post-operative counseling, allowing you to talk about your fears and adjust to your new body. Like many changes in life, it can be initially frightening and hard to deal with, even if it turns out to be one of the most positive changes you have ever made. The patients that are happiest with the changes are usually those that donít go into the procedure with mixed feelings, do not suffer from depression or a body image disorderFree Articles, and have a strong network of support around them after surgery.

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