I'm going for breast implants submuscular next month and I'm so nervous of what pain is to come as I've never had any form of surgery done before. How do I keep my nerves under control?
How to Keep the Nerves Under Control for Breast Implants?
Doctor Answers 6
Pre-surgical anxiety is normal. Anyone who is not a bit nervous prior to surgery is unusual. But, not to worry too much. You have to think about the great things after surgery.
Anxiety over upcoming surgery
As they say keep your "eyes on the prize," Focus on your goals and the reasons you want surgery. It is normal and expected to have anxiety. Be confident in your selection of a qualified surgeon. Be informed about your anesthesiologist and their techniques. Avoid the tendency to over analyze. This could drive you crazy. Above all if you have questions, make sure they are answered or that you are comfortable in contacting your surgeon before or after the procedure.
Anxiety before surgery
Having anxiety prior to any surgery is very normal. I try to combat this by doing everything possible to prepare the patients for what is ahead of them. This typically includes multiple preoperative visits, information packets about the surgery, and when possible talking to other patients who have already had the same procedure. If you are feeling a lot of anxiety you may want to call your surgeon and express your concerns. Sometimes a conversation can make all the difference.
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Nerves or nervous?
I am not sure if by nerves you mean pain nerves or emotional nerves. Regarding pain, the pain can be minimal or it can be severe. It usually lasts for only 1-4 days and your surgeon will explain various options for medicinal control of the pain from nerve blocks, to pumps, to oral or intramuscular medications. If you expect to have pain, you will be well prepared. Patients who expect the surgery to be a painless breeze, may have a rude awakening if it is not.
To calm your emotional nerves, know that being nervous is normal. Almost every patient goes into surgery with a combination of nervous anxiety and excitement. You can speak to former patients of your surgeon to discuss their experience. Speaking to the surgeon him or herself can be very reassuring. Be sure your surgeon is sensitive to your concerns.
Preparation is very important
It is difficult to know what to expect but you can take comfort in the fact that many women across the country and world for that matter undergo this surgery and recover quite well.
Perhaps it may help to speak with your plastic surgeon's office staff and see if they have a patient who has had the procedure and is will to talk with you. It is important to realize that everyone responds in a bit of a different way.
I have had patients tell me they didn't take pain medication after a couple of days and others who come in a week later and ask for a refill. I firmly believe that your basic understanding of what to expect will make your recovery proceed without a bump.
Write down any questions you have and review them with your plastic surgeon and his/her staff beforehand. I hope this has helped.
Best way to combat nerves about upcoming breast augmentation.
I find that the more you know about the surgery and what to expect post-op and the more in control you feel, the less nervous you will be. Make sure you understand all the medications you will be taking and how the physician is going to follow you after surgery. Are they going to call you everyday? How do you reach your doctor if you need her? How long does it take them to call you back? What medications are you going to have? We give our patients several different medications after surgery to make sure they are comfortable after breast augmentation-a muscle relaxant (methocarbamol), narcotic pain killer like Vicodin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (Motrin). We speak to our patients twice a day for the first several days to reasure them and advise them on their medication schedule. Of course we are available 24 hours a day, and my patients are able to reach me very quickly if they need me. This works beautifully. If you are still feeling nervous, ask your surgeon about Valium or Ativan. This will help relieve the anxiety. You will only need it for a few days. Hope this helps.
Tracy Pfeifer, MD, MS
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.