As a facelift surgeon in Chicago, I like to talk about the details of procedures and intricacies of plastic surgery. However, I believe it’s also important to consider the emotional side of the plastic surgery process, both before and after your treatment. The emotional side of things can sneak up on you, no matter how well prepared you might be.
Here are a few things I always try to convey to patients, both during their consultations and throughout the healing process after surgery.
It’s OK to be nervous: Undergoing any surgical treatment can be a little scary, especially when it will have an effect on your appearance. Feeling nervous or excited is always OK, and I encourage you to express your emotions or concerns with me. I will always encourage you to ask lots of questions and take the time you need before scheduling surgery. I don’t want you to feel rushed in your decision — only confident that you’re making the right one for yourself.
Thoroughly researching the procedure often helps patients feel more assured about their decision. There are many credible resources online, including The Aesthetic Society and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Remember why you started the process: Whatever you’ve decided to undergo, you’re doing it for yourself. That’s worth celebrating. You’ve chosen to improve your confidence and comfort in your own skin, and that is incredibly important.
While the thought of undergoing anesthesia and taking downtime can be overwhelming, I’ll do everything I can to reassure you of each step in the process, so you’re comfortable and can heal as quickly as possible.
Ask for support: I can’t stress the importance of this enough. As with any changes and experiences we go through in life, it’s important to have people you love and trust by your side. Whether support comes from your immediate family, from friends, or even a coworker, take the time to discuss your experience and confide in someone. If you’re feeling excited, anxious, or even a little scared, those people around you will be willing to listen and help you talk things through.
I offer some tips for adjusting to the “new you” after plastic surgery in a related blog post. Understanding some of the emotions you may encounter during recovery can help you start thinking about what you may need from the people around you.
I do, however, suggest that patients are careful sharing their experiences with children. Young ones often do not understand the process of undergoing aesthetic treatments, and offering support is more challenging as they wonder why you’re undergoing the treatment. You can probably anticipate how your children will react, and if you anticipate confusion or a lack of support, you are better off not asking for it.
Stay positive: After undergoing almost any surgical procedure, whether it’s a facelift or a rhinoplasty, you’re going to experience some swelling and bruising around the treated area. Your appearance will look worse before it looks better, so staying positive about the results to come should be a primary thought in your mind. I sometimes suggest patients remove or cover mirrors around their house for the first few days after surgery, just to keep their mind focused on healing.
Listen to your body: Throughout the healing process, your body will tell you if it needs more time to rest and when it’s OK to begin doing more activity. While I do suggest following the guidelines I’ve outlined for you, no one else can know your body as well as you do. Listen to it, and you’ll heal more easily and quickly. Resist the urge to push yourself.
If you’re considering undergoing a facelift, rhinoplasty, or other cosmetic enhancement with me, I encourage you to take a look at my past blog posts on facelift procedures and visit our before-and-after gallery. It will help you form a more tangible sense of the results you want.
I also have even more patient photos to share during our consultation, which may help you talk through the process and feel more excited about your decision. You can request your consultation using our online contact form or by calling our office at (312) 788-2560 to schedule an appointment.