Emotional roller coaster after cosmetic surgery - but don't be afraid of the ride!

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Sometimes patients may tell us that even though everyone's telling them they look great after their surgery, they don't recognize themselves. Although this is not a complaint we hear often, it is normal to have these feelings. Patients often ride a bit of an ‘emotional roller coaster’ for 1 -2 months following procedures. Their emotions can swing from wildly elated, to very impatient with the healing process. Fortunately, like all rollercoasters, this ride comes to an end as well.

Our relationship with the mirror is one of the most intimate and complicated relationships we have. It starts when we are around 6 months old and stays with us (whether or not we love it or hate it) to the end. We know, more or less, what to expect from the mirror every time we take a peek.

After surgery that reflection is suddenly shifted and changes rapidly at first. Keep in mind, we only ever see ourselves in a flattened two-dimensional image so we may not appreciate the full three-dimensional picture others already see. There may be bruising and swelling that masks new profile and contour changes others already notice (and thus they are not lying to you.)

So for now, distance yourself from that ‘person in the mirror’ and in time you will come to recognize and make a new peace with that image. The ride is most intense for the first few weeks to a month, and then it softens and evens out rapidly usually coming to an end by three months after surgery.

Article by
Palm Beach Gardens Oculoplastic Surgeon