Scared for surgery in 5 days?
Doctor Answers 5
Scared for surgery
You see, we are naturally scared of things we do not know or things we do not understand. You may know too much, but the question would be if you understand it well enough. In order to overcome fear, you must educate yourself as much as possible about the surgical process while also not taking things out of context.
For example, you are afraid of a reaction to a general anesthetic. However, you probably did not look into the incidence of general anesthetic allergies. It ranges from 1 in 3500 to 1 in 20,000 general anesthetics. Regardless of which rate you take, the percent of patients having an allergic reaction is very close to zero. If you do not have a family history of reactions to anesthetic agents, you should be fine.
Next, you are worried about bleeding out, but you probably did not read that the incision surgeons make will be small and it will be a blood-less dissection due to electrical cauterization – which uses heat to close blood vessels. When there is less bleeding, there will be less pain when you wake up.
The source of all this anxiety could be reading through tonnes of reviews of breast augmentation. Of course, if you read negative reviews, you are more likely to become anxious, but if you read more positive reviews, you are more likely to become excited about the surgery.
You have to realize that one patient is not like another, so taking those negative reviews and applying it your own case is pointless. In fact, even the breasts in the same individual are never entirely the same which is why we may see that certain complications occur only in one breast and not the other.
Please know that compared to the number of people who get BBAs each year (over 300,000) compared to the number of negative reviews you read, you will realize 2 things, 1) those with negative results are more likely to share their story, 2) compared to positive results, the likelihood of negative results is highly uncommon.
So I urge you to look into the likelihood of the complications that are scaring you.
In fact, if you were to look at the list of complications to any surgery, or number of side effects to any drug, you would be more likely to reject the surgery or drug. The point to understand is not that there are many risks, but rather the rate of occurrence (i.e., incidence rate of the complications)
For example, infection is a very dangerous complication that could destroy BBA results, but the chance of infection following breast augmentation is 1% which means that there is 99% chance you will not get an infection. See how if you change the point of reference, things look much better. This is because of the psychological effect our body has to negative information.
Another example - many patients read blogs from others about how they are terrified of general anesthesia and start worrying excessively. They will read things such as, “oh, what if I wake up during surgery…oh what if I do not wake up at all?” These are worrisome questions for sure, but again, they are also highly unlikely situations as you will be supervised during surgery by a board-certified anesthesiologist and the whole surgical team.
So relax and if you trust board-certified surgeon, then be confident that nothing will go wrong.
Hope this helps!
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Anxiety prior to surgery?
Anxiety prior to surgery is very normal; its complete elimination is usually not possible. Assuming you have chosen your plastic surgeon carefully, other important "variables" such as anesthesia provider and surgery facility will be selected based on everyone's first priority: safety. This careful selection should give you some peace of mind that you will be safe around the time of surgery.
Discuss your specific areas of concerns with your plastic surgeon who will be in the best position to help you calm your nerves. I ask my patients to try to be as calm as possible prior to surgery; this “calmness" tends to translate to a smoother postoperative course. You may be able to alleviate some pre operative anxiety with music, exercise, meditation, a glass of wine (if ok with your surgeon), and positive/objective focus on the long term outcome/benefits etc. prior to your procedure.
Again, I think you will be best off, given that your surgery is coming up very soon, spending additional time with your plastic surgeon communicating your goals/concerns/questions carefully (preferably prior to the day of surgery). In doing so will you likely find peace of mind and decreased anxiety.
Generally, I find that in our practice, patients find that they did “get worked up for nothing” after their recovery is completed. I hope this helps.
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.