It’s probably more normal than not to be nervous prior to plastic surgery. Our New York patients often say they feel a mix of excitement and anxiety leading up to the big day.
We may have fewer jittery patients than some practices since we have so many years of experience for and we’re not pushy by nature. In addition, the fact that we use twilight sedation instead of general anesthesia in most cases helps many patients feel at ease.
But everyone is different, and we sometimes work with people who are very anxious about their upcoming plastic surgery in New York. If that’s you, here are 10 tips for handling a case of the nerves before your procedure.
1) Let us know how you’re doing.
There’s no shame at all in having anxiety; the thing we regret is when patients don’t tell us. If you’re struggling, we can arrange a time to chat online or by phone, or even refer you to a former patient to talk with. There are ways we can help.
2) Review information.
Reading over all the information we give you, including possible risks and complications and their rates of occurrence, should help. Remind yourself that the risk of a minor complication is low, and the possibility of a major problem is extremely remote. And remember that we’ve been operating for more than three decades and we know our job very well.
3) Watch your online time.
One caveat about reviewing information—don’t spend too much time on the internet. There are cosmetic surgery horror stories just as there are with almost any medical topic, and if you run into them, they could cause the opposite of the desired effect!
4) Prepare your kitchen and bathroom.
When you come back home after surgery, the last thing you want is a sink full of dirty dishes and a bathroom that looks a little dingy. Give these areas some attention before your procedure, and ensure the refrigerator, cupboards and medicine cabinets have what you may need, including prescription medication.
5) Make sure your home is ready to welcome you back.
It’s a good idea to put clean sheets on the bed and have plenty of fluffy pillows around to help you rest easily. You might want to have books, magazines and movies handy, and perhaps some music or podcasts ready for listening. Consider splurging on a flower arrangement for your kitchen counter or bedroom, or some other way to help you feel pampered for a few days.
6) Occupy your mind.
The day before surgery, find ways to distract yourself from focusing on any worries you may have. Watch an absorbing movie, dive into a mystery novel or call an old friend and catch up. You won’t be dodging an issue, you’ll be keeping yourself from engaging in thoughts that don’t help.
7) Use relaxation techniques.
If we know one of our New York plastic surgery patients has sleep challenges, we often advise them to try various relaxation techniques. Breathing exercises and meditation are two practices that really do help. We suggest getting started well before the day of surgery to get into the swing of a new routine. You can watch videos on YouTube—there are many to choose from. And here’s a “how to” article that can help plastic surgery patients from the New York Times.
8) Listen to music.
“Music is effective for relaxation and stress management.” So says an article from the University of Nevada, Reno. Read more here, including a list of suggested pieces. You’ll find one that appeals to you.
9) Have a support system.
You’ll need someone to pick you up and take you home after initial recovery in our surgery center, so why not have that person on call in case you need support over the next few days? Or find someone else you trust who can drop by to see how you’re doing, fix a meal if needed and help with pet care. Even if you think you’ll be fine no matter what, having someone you can call just in case is a good idea, especially if you live alone.
10) Get professional help.
If you know you have a tendency to be anxious, it might make sense to schedule a few counseling sessions prior to having cosmetic surgery. Or you might choose to visit a meditation center—there are several to choose from in our city and some offer drop in classes. Therapeutic massage is another option for feeling relaxed.
If you’re planning plastic surgery with us in New York and you notice your stress level increasing as the date draws near, give us a call at 212-570-6080. We will be very happy to talk with you and see if we can help with a strategy for easing your mind.
Photo by Elina Sazonova from Pexels