Feelings and Emotions After Cosmetic Surgery

Emotional Rollercoaster After Surgery

The period after undergoing a plastic surgery intervention can be accompanied by an emotional rollercoaster. You can experience different emotions after cosmetic surgery, from anxiety to excitement. Being aware of potential mood swings after plastic surgery is important as it can help you navigate this period easier.

Dr Mark Gittos is an experienced and talented Plastic Surgeon in New Zealand who has helped hundreds of patients achieve their aesthetic goals.

Download Dr Mark Gittos’ Guide to Plastic Surgery Recovery

Guide to Plastic Surery Recovery

Emotions after Cosmetic Surgery – What You Might Feel

The decision to alter your physical appearance through cosmetic surgery is extremely personal and is associated with a broad range of emotions not only during the process but also after the completion of your desired procedure. Just as you prepare yourself for the downtime of the surgery, you should also understand what to expect emotionally during your recovery period. Depending on the type and extent of the procedure as well as your aesthetic goals, it can take several weeks and even months before full recovery and to see the final results – and it is just normal for you to feel a mix of emotions.

After your cosmetic surgery, you’ll probably experience the following:

  • Having sleeping difficulties which might increase your tendency to become more sensitive
  • Being more sensitive to the opinions of friends, family, and other people regarding your surgery choices
  • Wondering what your body will look like once bruising, swelling, and redness are completely gone
  • Being confused about what is normal to experience during your recovery process
  • Worrying about your surgical scars and wondering about scar reducing options
  • Searching the internet for normal and abnormal findings during the recovery process as well as other people’s surgical experiences
  • Experiencing low energy levels
  • Missing your daily activities that you have put on hold as you recover
  • Having second thoughts about your decision to undergo a surgical procedure
  • Undergoing depression due to poor cosmetic results

Post-Cosmetic Surgery Depression

If the aspect of your body is affecting your self-confidence, and you decided to improve its appearance through cosmetic surgery, the chances are you will feel excited about satisfactory results. However, this is not always the case as some people may experience sadness and depression following their cosmetic surgery. This is called post-cosmetic surgery depression or post-plastic surgery depression and is associated with several factors such as anaesthesia and pain medication, lack of support from family and friends, disappointment over the clinical outcome, and other personal issues.

Post-cosmetic surgery depression might involve symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Eating difficulties
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Feelings of hopelessness and sadness with no specific cause
  • Guilt
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Loss of interest
  • Memory problems
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Slow movements
  • Stress
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Thoughts of harming others

What Other Emotional Issues Can Arise After Cosmetic Surgery?

In a study conducted with over 3500 Swedish women who had undergone cosmetic breast augmentation surgery, researchers reported an increased risk of suicide.

In another study, researchers found a 7% prevalence of body dysmorphic disorder (a mental disorder characterized by the belief that one or more defects or flaws are present in your body) among cosmetic surgery patients.

Strategies to Help Manage Emotions After Cosmetic Surgery

To improve your mood and overall quality of life following cosmetic surgery, you can try these ideas:

  • Make sure you have a strong support system at home: whether it’s your family or friends, they can provide you with all the help you need during your recovery. Talking to them allows you to verbalise your feelings, prevent emotional build-up, and achieve comfort
  • Plan your recovery: after your cosmetic surgery, you should have a list of what to do to keep yourself occupied and prevent thinking about the recovery process. This includes movies to watch, books to read, and other light activities recommended by your surgeon
  • Adhere to postoperative instructions: make sure to adhere to your medication regimen and avoid vigorous activities that can put stress on your surgical incision line which can lead to a poor cosmetic result. In addition, follow proper wound-cleaning techniques to lower your risk of infection and other complications. Read How to Reduce Complications after Plastic Surgery.
  • Rest as much as you can: the recovery period is not the time for you to resume your activities at home. Whether it’s as simple as caring for your kids or washing the dishes, you need to rest for a few days to allow your body to heal. Dr Gittos will let you know the time when you can get back to your daily routine
  • Be patient with your recovery period: it is important to keep in mind that your recovery period may vary from other patients because this will depend on several factors such as your body anatomy, type of surgery, and desired cosmetic goals. To reduce your anxiety, don’t make judgments on the clinical outcome while you still have bruises, swelling, redness, pain, and stitches
  • Consult with your doctor regularly: when recovering at home, you can communicate with your doctor instead of searching the internet for possible solutions or strategies to accelerate your healing process. In case of bleeding, increasing pain, pus on the surgical wound, and untoward signs and symptoms, consult with your doctor immediately for further evaluation and medical management

Planning to undergo cosmetic surgery to improve your appearance and self-esteem? Schedule a consultation with Dr Mark Gittos now.

Finding the Best Breast Augmentation Surgeon in New Zealand

For many women in New Zealand, having breast augmentation is a life-changing experience. There are many qualified doctors, but it is always best to find one who is experienced in breast augmentation procedures. Breast implants come in many different shapes and sizes, and there are various insertion techniques, so find a reputable practitioner who can give good advice on the right implants for you. Before considering breast implants, it is wise to find a surgeon who is also up to speed with new non-invasive techniques for boosting the breasts, so you can investigate all the options before deciding on permanent surgical implants. It is important to avoid choosing a cheaper overseas option that lacks the ongoing support that a New Zealand surgeon provides. Always look for an experienced surgeon that you feel comfortable with and get a second opinion.

Further Reading about Cosmetic Surgery

Medical References

About Dr Mark Gittos FRACS (Plast) – New Zealand Plastic Surgeon 

Practice locations in Herne Bay Auckland, Northland and Bay of Plenty – Kerikeri, Whangarei, New Plymouth & Tauranga

Dr Mark Gittos is a leading Specialist Plastic Surgeon and operates a practice in Herne Bay, Auckland and in the UK. The practice focuses on both surgical and non-surgical procedures, each designed to help restore, improve or change a physical characteristic or problem. The first step in every case is to talk through your personal requirements and explore all the options, before deciding on the most effective solution.

Dr Mark Gittos offers high quality, natural-looking cosmetic surgery results and is highly experienced in BreastBody and Face Surgery having performed over 4000 Surgeries in the last 26 years.  With worldwide expertise Dr Gittos is an expert in breast, face and body surgery for men & women. 

Naturally, before any treatment is begun, we will explain clearly the advantages and risk factors; so that you have the information you need to make an informed decision that is best for you. Visit the practice to find out more.


Please NOTE: Dr Gittos only performs surgery on non-smoker patients with a BMI less than 30. To check your BMI please visit the NZ Heart Foundation website. For help giving up smoking before surgery visit the Smoke Free website

Do your Research

What to Bring to your Plastic Surgeon Consultation

  • Bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices
  • Take lots of notes and read the documents provided thoroughly
  • Dress in simple clothes as you may need to undress for examination
  • Bring your medical referral and any relevant medical documents or test results

Book your Initial Surgery Consultation

  • A Referral from your GP or specialist is helpful but NOT essential – you can have a consultation without a GP Referral
  • Email us or Call on 09 529 5352 to arrange your surgeon consultation appointment.
  • Book a consultation with Dr Gittos by paying the Consultation Fee – $350 incl GST

Traveling for Surgery? – Consider post-surgery luxury recovery in a Hotel with LuxeCare

Please contact us to arrange to book a consultation with our Specialist Plastic Surgeon or to speak with our Patient Care Advisor.

Send an enquiry form today or phone  09 529 5352  during Clinic Hours