POSTED 24th May 2017

How will you feel after plastic surgery?

Plastic surgery is a life-changing experience, but you should expect to feel highs and lows in the immediate aftermath of treatment.

There is lots of research that shows your attitude and mood over the course of a year after plastic surgery will fluctuate along the lines of the graph.

As you can see, the recovery and adjustment process is rarely plain sailing. In this article, surgeon Adam Goodwin explains how your attitude and feelings about your treatment are likely to change over time.

While we hope you will be delighted with your results, it’s helpful to be aware that you’ll have ups and downs in the weeks and months after surgery.

While your personal chart may not exactly mirror the above, years of experience tells us it’s likely to be similar. The main difference is that if you’ve had a relatively simple procedure, like Anti-Wrinkle Injections or Fillers, you will have a shorter graph, while more complex procedures like facelifts or abdominoplasty will usually span the year represented above.

When you have negative thoughts or emotions it’s important to know that what you’re experiencing is completely normal and that it will pass. Ultimately, in the medium to long-term, you will likely follow the trend in growing to appreciate your new look, feeling pleased that you took positive action to improve your appearance and self-esteem.

Charting your recovery after plastic surgery

Surgery day

Everyone feels anxious before their operation and asks themselves similar questions. Is this the right thing to do? Am I wasting my money? Am I being unduly vain? Will I be sick after anaesthetic? We appreciate that your mood is likely to be low and will do all we can to put your mind at ease and make you as relaxed and comfortable as possible.

Day 1

In the immediate aftermath of surgery you’re likely to be in a good mood and naturally keen to see difference surgery has made. However, don’t expect too much too soon, it’s usually too early to see your results.

Days 2 – 3

Back at home, it’s normal to start to feel a little guilty and begin to question what you have done. You’ll want to know when the swelling will go down and when you’ll start to feel like normal. You’re likely to feel sore too. This means your mood will probably drop a little, but don’t lose heart, your procedure is over with and you’re on the road to recovery. Everything will heal over time.

Days 4 – 6

You’ll have your first post-operative visit 4 – 6 days after surgery. We’ll check that you are healing as expected, and you’ll be able to ask any questions you may have. Expect to still be swollen and bruised.

Days 7 – 14

While you may still look swollen and bruised you should begin to feel better and may even be able to return to work. However, everyone’s body heals differently so if your bruising and swelling remains pronounced, this may affect your mood. You may begin to question why you had surgery and whether it was worth it. Acquaintances are being positive but the people who know you really well are probably not giving you the compliments you had hoped for after surgery. Rest assured that these feelings are completely normal and will pass along with the bruising and swelling. You need to be patient.

Days 28 – 60

At this point you will be starting to see the results you had been hoping for. It’s likely that some people have commented on how good you look, though you’ll still have good days and bad. While most of the bruising and swelling should have disappeared you will probably still feel a little numb and look a bit lumpy, though it’s only a matter of time until this subsides. While you probably won’t feel confident in telling too many people about your surgery at this stage, you should feel positive most of the time.

Days 60 – 180

At this stage it’s likely that more and more people notice how fresh you look, particularly those you haven’t seen for a long time (though many won’t be able to pinpoint exactly why you look so good!) Your scars will have faded by this time so that they are almost invisible, and the lumpiness will have smoothed out, though expect to see the occasional lump if you look closely in the mirror. At this stage, you should be starting to truly feel like a new, improved version of you.

Days 180 – 365

By this stage, you’re likely to be so accustomed to your new look that you have almost forgotten about your surgery! After six months, most patients have completely accepted their new appearance and feel glad they made the choice to have plastic surgery. Overall, despite the ups and downs, you’ll feel good about the way you look.

If you would like to discuss having plastic surgery, please make an appointment to attend an initial consultation where we will be happy to discuss what you would like to achieve and how we may be able to help.

Find out more about recovering from plastic surgery,