Fear of Surgery: Strategies to Cope
Many people have thought about having plastic surgery. However, the fear of surgery discourages some from acheiving their aesthetic goals. The feeling of anxiety before undergoing surgery, also known as tomophobia, is incredibly common. So common, I thought it would be great to re-post this previous blog to help you cope with your preoperative fears. A lot of patients who know they will have surgery will start to experience it. Anxiety before surgery can be described as an uneasiness or tension that results from fear and doubt. Today, we will examine why some people are afraid of surgery and how best to cope with preoperative anxiety.
Common Reasons Why People Fear Surgery
Fear of the unknown
Worrying about the surgery not working
Fear of the anesthetic
Losing personal identity
Having to recover around strangers
Not being able to recover
Being in an unfamiliar environment
5 Ways to Alleviate the Fear of Surgery
1. Trust Your Practitioner
This is by far the most important part of calming the fear of surgery and hospital anxiety. Trust is the opposite of anxiety. Feeling out of control settles if you feel in sync with the person who is helping you. Knowing you are confident in the doctor makes you feel more in control of the situation. That's because you know he or she is in control, and that he or she–at least in this instance–is more capable than you to do this procedure.
2. Trust Yourself
Anxiety implies mistrust of others, but this is just a reflection of mistrust for yourself. Trust that you can do what you can to give yourself the highest potential for maximum recovery.
3. Take Action to Help Yourself
Do things that would be healing for your medical problem as well as your anxiety, like meditate, eat clean, exercise to build endurance for recovery, spend time with loving people, laugh, journal, pray, spend time outside or with your pets, engage in a creative hobby, clean out your house, or do some volunteer work. Just stay productively active so your mind doesn't wander to gloom and doom.
4. Educate Yourself
Doing research into your medical issue can calm preoperative anxiety. For some people, knowing what is going to happen makes them feel more in control and this is calming for them.
5. Plan Well
When you are healing, it is great to be able to focus all of your energy on healing. So it is great to make a plan for post-surgery. This will give you something to take your attention away from the surgery. Organize people to help and who will do what. Get together the things you might need (books, audiobooks, movies), and some stations for where you will plant yourself, complete with a side table for all the stuff–glass of water, tissues, lotion, lip balm, back scratcher, and the remote–that you will want at arm's length. Get your kids schedules all sorted out, catch up at work and home so everything is left organized. It feels awful when you cannot get up to be staring at a cluttered and messy room.
The best thing about preopertive anxiety is that this anxiety is temporary. When you are well, it will be gone! Don't let the fear of surgery stop you from acheiving your goals.
Contact us to schedule a consultation. Carmel Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeons provides a supportive environment in which you can feel at ease to discuss your goals. Our physicians, Dr. Elizabeth Grasee and Dr. Debra Bergman will educate you on your chosen procedure, evaluate your case, and help you decide the best course of action to achieve your desired outcome. We are committed to alleviating any of your doubts and guiding you towards a solution that aligns with your personal preferences