You might expect to be absolutely thrilled or even over-the-moon after a breast augmentation. You’ve done your research and have taken the time to invest in yourself and in a surgery that will help you feel more confident. Although plenty of women are happy after their breast surgeries, it’s also not uncommon for some women to feel a bit sad or to develop post-surgical blues, known as postoperative depression.
Postoperative depression has some things in common with postpartum depression. Both occur after what are usually positive life events. Both can also severely interfere with your quality of life. There are ways to help prevent or minimize the feelings of sadness that can occur after surgery. Here’s what you can do to keep a positive outlook after your breast augmentation.
Before Surgery: Manage Your Expectations
Having realistic expectations about the type of results you can get from breast augmentation can help you avoid feelings of disappointment or a sense of let down afterward. During your consultation with the surgeon before the procedure, go over what breast augmentation and getting breast implants can and can’t do for you. It can be helpful to try on sizers so that you can see how the implants might change the size and shape of your breasts.
It’s also particularly important that you decide to have breast augmentation for yourself and only for yourself. If you have the surgery as a way to try to please other people, you might be disappointed with how they react afterward. Or, you might be disappointed with the results of the procedure because you didn’t do it for yourself, but to make someone else happy.
Before you schedule surgery, take an honest look at your motivations. Ask yourself why you want the procedure and what you hope to get from it. Then, discuss your thoughts and feelings with a surgeon to see if your expectations are reasonable.
After Surgery: Have a Support Network
The more people you have to lift you up and support you during your recovery after breast augmentation, the better. It’s not only important for your emotional and mental health to have a group of people to support you, it’s also important because you might need some physical assistance after your surgery.
This is particularly true on the first night after the procedure. You’ll want to have at least one friend or relative around to help you get home and to stay with you in case you need any help.
After Surgery: Find Ways to Fill Your Time
You’re going to need to take some time off from work or other activities as you recover from the breast surgery. Getting off of your usual schedule can really throw you for a loop, so it’s a good idea to find meaningful ways to fill your time.
That initial recovery period after breast augmentation might be an ideal time to pursue a new, quiet hobby. You could learn a new skill, such as painting or knitting. You can also use your recovery time to catch up on books or movies you haven’t gotten a chance to read or see yet.
After Surgery: Eat a Healthy Diet
It’s a good idea to stock your kitchen the right way before you have surgery. Prep quick and easy meals and snacks so that you don’t end up eating pizza or other types of take-out while you recuperate. Getting plenty of fiber and other nutrients will help you feel more comfortable as you heal. A healthy diet will also help your body heal more quickly after surgery. It’s also important that you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated following your procedure.
After Surgery: Let Yourself Rest
You need to give yourself permission to rest after your surgery, as getting plenty of sleep will help your body heal. In some cases, women find it difficult to rest after breast augmentation because they find it difficult to find a comfortable position for sleeping. It’s a good idea to make your bed extra comfortable, by adding pillows and blankets if needed during your recovery period. You will want to sleep on your back, so be sure to have pillows on either side of you to keep you from rolling over in your sleep.
After Surgery: Get Help if You Feel Down
Most importantly, if you do feel sad or depressed after your breast augmentation, seek help. Your surgeon can reassure you that the feelings you’re feeling and that the swelling and bruising you might experience are normal and will subside. It can be helpful to speak with other women who have had breast augmentation to learn more about how they coped with recovery. You might also consider speaking with a therapist who can help you sort through your feelings.
Dr. Paul Vitenas is a Houston-based plastic surgeon who specializes in breast procedures. To learn more about breast augmentation and how to stay positive after your surgery, call 281-484-0088 to schedule a consultation today.