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Douglas A. Taranow, DO, FACOS

New York, NY


Posted July 09, 2012 in Preparing for Plastic Surgery

Deciding to have plastic surgery usually creates feelings of elation and excitement, because your aesthetic goals are within reach. Unfortunately, anxiety and trepidation over the upcoming surgery can dampen your eagerness. It’s only natural to experience some feelings of fear and apprehension about an upcoming surgery. Luckily, there are many ways to minimize the dread you may be experiencing:

Educate Yourself

Not knowing exactly what to expect is frequently one of the main causes of pre-surgery anxiety. This fear of the unknown can be lessened by learning as much as possible about your procedure. Even though you can find a plethora of information about various cosmetic procedures on the Internet, some websites may contain inaccurate information, making it important to limit your research to trusted sites, such as leading medical universities and professional plastic surgery organizations. An initial consultation visit with a qualified plastic surgeon, such as Dr. Taranow, is the perfect opportunity to voice your concerns and get the answers to your questions.

Meet with the Anesthesia Specialist

During surgery, a nurse anesthetist or anesthesiologist will administer the anesthesia. These professionals understand the anxiety many patients feel about losing awareness during surgery. You may want to ask if you can have a preoperative pill or injection to help you relax right before your procedure. The anesthesia specialist can also discuss the type of anesthesia used and how it is administered. He or she can also explain how certain equipment help ensure your safety, such as an oximeter that continually evaluates your oxygen saturation, as well as a blood pressure cuff and electrocardiogram that is designed to monitor your cardiovascular condition during surgery.

Eliminate Bad Health Habits

It is typically recommended that those who smoke quit at least a few weeks before and after surgery. This will help to minimize the risk of surgical complications, especially those related to respiratory conditions. Proper exercise and diet prior to your procedure can also help ease your mind and boost your health. Don’t attempt to reduce nervous jitters by self-medicating, such as drinking in excess or using illegal drugs.

Focus on the Positive

Participating in group activities, such as sports, community projects, art workshops or yoga classes, can help ease stress and distract you from worries over your upcoming procedure. Taking time for yourself by going on long walks or practicing meditation can also help reduce anxiety. Getting your mind and body into the best possible shape prior to your surgery will help you relax and revitalize. This will help allow you to enjoy those well-deserved feelings of excitement and anticipation!