Mastering the mental ups & downs of recovery
Recovery isn’t a purely physical game; there’s an emotional side too. The vast majority of patients complete their recovery feeling on top of the world—more confident and loving their look. But getting there can be a roller coaster ride. Never fear—these feelings are totally normal. Here’s what to expect.
Step 1: Getting over the hump
first week after surgery
The first week or so can be a bit of a shock to your system. As post-op discomfort and swelling peak about 3 to 5 days after surgery, you may feel some combo of “surely there’s something wrong,” and “why did I do this to myself?!?” After this hump, you’ll start feeling better each day, both physically and emotionally.
“I was not worried about the surgery, I was not worried about the scars. It was the uncertainty; not knowing what the results would be….I laughed and cried at the same time when I saw my boobs for the first time. It was a surreal moment…now I can wear cute dresses. My posture is better. It is so liberating.”*
Allison, breast reduction patient
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Step 2: Getting used to the changes you’ve made
2 to 4 weeks after surgery
You’re now starting to turn your attention to the fact that you look different than you did a few weeks ago. This can be emotionally jarring. It takes time for your brain to adjust to the changes made. Expect to swing between “I’m so glad I did this!” and “Is this really me?” Your results are still taking shape, and you may be wondering if you’re ever going to look and feel the way your surgeon says you will. Be patient—healing takes time.
Step 3: Dealing with boredom & restlessness
2 to 8 weeks after surgery
You’ve got your energy back, but you’re still restricted in what you can do. It’s normal to get antsy or frustrated during this period. You just want to stop holding back, already! Be patient & stick to your post-op instructions.
Our advice: concentrate on what you can do, not what you can’t. Most patients are cleared to go for 30 to 60 minute walks as early as the first week after surgery. Take this time to revamp your diet. You’ll have time to plan, shop and cook healthy foods in lieu of your daily workout.
Step 4: Rocking your new look
1 to 3 months after surgery
After your routine gets back to normal, you can concentrate more on enjoying your new look than being careful about overdoing it. During this period, many patients feel the same way about their newly toned, tightened or curvier body that they do about a new house: they just want to decorate it and show it off.
It doesn’t hurt that right about now, the compliments start rolling in. You’re smiling and feeling great, and that energy is contagious. Don’t be surprised if you still have pangs of “is this really me?” every now and then, but these should become fewer and farther between.
Step 5: The new you is now just “you”
3+ months after surgery
Just like your new house eventually becomes simply “home,” your new shape will transition from “new” to simply “you.” In other words, you won’t think in terms of “my new, perkier boobs” anymore. You’ll just think “my boobs.”
This is fantastic, and really the whole point of cosmetic surgery, right? You wanted to feel more like yourself the way you imagined, and now it’s happened!
“I dress, act, and feel more confident in fulfilling all the roles that I am. I am a professional woman, a mom, and a sexy wife! I now have no problem going from mommy mode to wife mode. I am so looking forward to the next chapter of my life as the new me.”*
Sarah, mommy makeover patient
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