Overcoming The Fear of Surgery By Carmel Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeons on June 24, 2024

There are numerous reasons why someone may be scared of surgery. Over time, most people learn how to manage their own anxiety and handle frightening situations. They develop suitable strategies to cope with what is causing the anxiety. But going into a hospital or outpatient surgery center and having an operation is often a completely new, anxiety provoking situation. Here, additional coping skills may be needed as well as emotional and practical support from friends and family.
Below are listed common reasons why people fear surgery. Following this list are ways of coping with and alleviating 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
    Losing control
    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 often this is just a reflection of not trusting 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. 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 beneficial to make a plan for your post-surgical recovery. An extra bonus of this pre-operative planning activity is that it will give you a task to take your attention away from the upcoming surgery.

     Organize people to help you out postoperatively and decide who will do what.

     Get together the things you might need (books, audio books, 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 at home so everything is left organized. It feels awful when you are not getting around well 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 achieving 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.

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Dr. Grasee and Dr. Bergman

Committed to Surgical Excellence

At Carmel Cosmetic & Plastic Surgeons, we are dedicated to excellence. We belong to several prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • American Board of Plastic Surgery
  • American Board of Surgery
  • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons

To schedule your consultation, contact us online or call us at (317) 581-0001.

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