Cosmetic surgery changes persons, for better or for worse, physically and psychologically. While a face lift at Sono Bello Lift or a liposuction at Athenix Body will remove wrinkles from the face or fat deposits from the abdomen, respectively, the positive results can be accompanied by negative effects. The more common of these side effects is post-surgery depression.
Like clinical depression, post-surgery depression is characterized by feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, of unexplained sadness, and even of suicide. In many patients who experienced it, the symptoms can come suddenly while in others it can creep up but in both cases, it cannot be denied.
Primary Contributors to Depression
Not every patient will experience post-surgery depression. For the patients who experience it, there were many primary contributors that set the ball rolling.
Effects of general anesthesia
The chemicals in general anesthesia doesn’t just put patients to sleep in preparation for the surgery. The traces of these chemicals can remain in the body for up to three weeks and, in turn, affect your physical and mental state. The effects include depression, lethargy and unexplained weepiness, and research has shown that the older the patient, the more likely these effects can occur.
Effects of pain medications
Effective post-operative pain management includes the administration of prescription narcotic painkillers, especially in procedures requiring general anesthesia. Many of these painkillers are classified as depressants that contribute to feelings of lethargy, weakness and sadness in susceptible persons. When their effects are combined with the effects of general anesthesia, patients can feel depressed for a while after the surgery.
Effects of physical restrictions
During the recovery period, patients are strongly advised to get complete rest so as to provide their bodies with sufficient time to recover from the surgery. The feelings of restlessness, helplessness, and uselessness that can come from being restricted to the bed, especially for busy-bodies, can create the blues.
And then there’s the fact that many types of cosmetic surgery will leave the patients looking bruised and feeling battered. Instead of the positive results expected, the patient is far from feeling okay, much less beautiful, and it’s a feeling that can quickly become depression.
Highest Risk for Depression
There are people who are likeliest to get post-surgery depression like:
- People with unrealistic expectations and, thus, will be disappointed with the results. Perfection isn’t in the hands of a cosmetic surgeon, no matter how great he may be.
- People who undergo surgery for the wrong reasons, such as women who want to please their men.
- People with a history of depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.
- People with body dysmorphic disorder since they will not be content with the results.
Men are also more likely to be depressed after surgery because of their stoic attitude.
The bottom line: Always discuss the physical and psychological impact of cosmetic surgery with your doctor before going under the knife.