post op blues

The Post-Op Blues

Plastic surgery procedures are often performed under general anesthesia. Facial and body contouring procedures, including facelift, breast augmentation, abdominoplasty and thigh lift, require the administration of general anesthesia for the safety and comfort of the patient.


After any surgery that involves this type of anesthetic, patients may feel totally "out of it" and groggy when you first wake up. You may feel some discomfort as well. Lightheadedness is common, as well as nausea and a loss of appetite. Some patients even throw up. These feelings are considered normal when coming out from being "put under". Patients are required to stay for a few hours in our recovery room until they feel well enough to be discharged.


The excitement that comes with passing the milestone of surgery can wear off. Usually, this happens after about a week. Some patients may be left feeling sad or depressed. This phase can last up to three months, especially in the rare event that complications arise.

Patients may also become frustrated because they don't see their desired results right away. Again, this is considered normal. If it lasts more than three months, though, we recommend that the situation be discussed with your surgeon.

At around three months post-surgery, patients will start to feel more normal again. This is also when the majority of swelling and bruising disappear, so you can begin to appreciate the results of your procedure as well.


In rare cases, some patients may experience more serious bouts of depression and/or anxiety. These may arise six months after surgery. It can be similar to postpartum depression. In fact, patients who have a history of mental health issues should discuss them with their surgeon and mental health practitioner prior to surgery, during the initial consultation.

It's important for plastic surgeons to discuss all possible emotional phases with patients so that they know what to expect during recovery - understanding these emotions ahead of time helps focus on healing rather than worrying about them later on down the line.

Following pre-and post-operative instructions from your surgeon is also vital in navigating through the surgical process successfully!