All the stress that comes with a major plastic surgery can lead to feelings of depression. Discover the reasons why breast augmentation can cause the post-operative blues, and the best ways to deal with any sadness you may feel after your surgery.

In the days leading up to your breast augmentation, you’re likely rushing around to get everything ready for your recovery, and dreaming of how wonderful the final results will be.

So it’s only natural that after the operation, you may feel a bit of a letdown. Those perfect breasts you were anticipating are now sore, bruised and unnaturally high on your body; the cocktail of anesthetics and painkillers in your system, coupled with the sleep deprivation that may result from the pain of recover, wreaked havoc with your mental state. And since you may not feel up to socializing as you recover, you may feel cut off from your support network that could help pull you out of your slump.

Plastic surgeons even have a term for this feeling—the post-operative blues. For most patients, the depression that comes following plastic surgery subsides as they begin to heal and their breast implants begin to more closely resemble their daydreams. But if your depression seems to linger on beyond the immediate recovery period, you may need to consult your doctor for advice or a referral to a therapist for more help.

Here are some strategies for dealing with the post-operative blues:

  • Understand that this is just a passing—and extremely common—phenomenon. Post-operative depression strikes after many types of surgery, thanks to the pharmaceutical array needed for surgery and post-operative care. Once the anesthetics and painkillers leave your system, you’ll likely find that your outlook has changed for the better. Drinking plenty of fluids can help speed that process (and help with your physical healing as well).
  • Try doing something that’s a guaranteed mood booster. Take a walk outside, indulge in a favorite movie or pastime, or treat yourself to a favorite dessert. Sometimes a simple thing can make a world of difference.
  • Share your feelings. You can talk with a friend, your doctor or a therapist to share your anxiety or sadness after the surgery, or even put your thoughts on paper. Often simply communicating these types of feelings helps them to dissipate.
  • Realize that the breast implants may make your body look better, but they aren’t going to make your whole life better. Your new breast implants will improve your figure and may make you feel more confident about your body, but they won’t improve your relationships or make you more successful. Don’t expect them to.
  • Mention it to your doctor. He may decide to refer you to a therapist or diagnose and treat your depression, so you can get back to that joyful feeling you had before the surgery.