How long do the blues linger and you come to terms with your new body scar, no belly button and all?

Doctor Answers 2

Postoperative Depression

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Tiny,   Your emotions are not uncommon in cosmetic surgery patients. Fear of unfulfilled surgical expectations often creep into the minds of cosmetic patients, especially early in the postoperative course, while they are bruised and swollen. Talk to your surgeon and ask for a timetable for your recovery, as this may help. Good luck!

New York Plastic Surgeon
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How long do the blues linger and you come to terms with your new body scar, no belly button and all?

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Significant “emotional” swings are quite commonly encountered after all types of elective surgery.   The specific cause of the  "postoperative depression" is not known;  in my opinion, it is probably multifactorial ( factors such as stress, pain, unanticipated length of recovery, being away from usually enjoyed activities/people…).  In my experience, the  duration varies from a few days to a few weeks.

 In my experience, patients who have a history of depression may be more prone to such emotional “ups and downs”.  In other words, patient personality features ( "glass half full") makes a difference when it comes to the recovery experience.

I suggest that patients do their best to occupy your mind with activities that they enjoy. For example, for our patients experiencing these types of post operative “sadness”, I suggest they walk outdoors (fresh air), see movies, read books they enjoy, seek family/friends' support… 

 Requiring reassurance (that what you are experiencing is normal) is also common and to be expected. I would suggest closer follow-up with your surgeon–call and request earlier follow if needed. Hopefully, after follow-up with your surgeon you will find that the "depression" will improve. Usually this occurs as patients become more active and return to their previous activities/lifestyle.  

Best wishes.

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