Robert M. Wald, Jr., MD - The Aesthetic Institute
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Ways to Calm Anxiety Before Surgery

9 Minute Read: 

A girl spending time in nature with arms stretched up in sunflower field

Feeling nervous before surgery is perfectly normal. Even if the procedure is not essential, most people still experience stress and worry. And it’s no surprise. Increased heart rate, nausea, nervous stomach, and other anxiety symptoms are our bodies’ natural responses to certain situations. This is especially true for situations that seem dangerous to us. In such cases, anxiety can be a good thing – it helps us fight the danger or escape from it. Of course, most people experience anxiety from time to time on occasions that are not truly dangerous. However, most of us discover ways to deal with it in our everyday lives. On the other hand, surgery is a new experience for most. For that reason, it becomes harder to overcome feelings of fear. With that in mind, we’ve prepared some valuable tips on how to calm anxiety before surgery.

What Causes the Fear of Surgery

People can experience anxiety before surgery for many reasons. While sometimes these reasons are realistic, they are often simply the fear of the unknown. There are so many myths about plastic surgery floating around. Not only are they false, but they can also add to the stress. Either way, feeling stressed or uneasy is a normal and understandable reaction.

However, identifying the exact cause of your fear is the first step in dealing with the emotions. Once you find the reason, you’ll be better able to find a way to calm yourself and relax. Here are some of the most common reasons for anxiety before surgery:

  • Fear of the unknown
  • Losing control
  • Worrying about the surgery not working
  • Fear of the anesthetic
  • Losing personal identity
  • Pain
  • Inability to fully recover
  • Being in an unfamiliar environment

Learn as Much as You Can About Your Upcoming Surgery

If you feel anxious because you’re not sure what to expect during and after the procedure, it’s a good idea to educate yourself more on the matter. The more you know, the better you’ll feel.

A woman drinking coffee while searching on her laptop

Learning more about your upcoming surgery will help you feel more secure and optimistic.

Of course, there are several routes to explore. Firstly, you can look up information on the procedure online. However, ensure you only use reliable sources. You want to avoid all misinformation and confusion. But, be careful. If you tend to see the worst in every situation, staying away from online research may be a good idea. Researching what could go wrong may increase your anxiety instead of reducing it, even if such a situation is not likely to occur.

If checking your procedure on the Internet seems overwhelming and confusing, there are better solutions. Consulting your surgeon and other medical professionals is best. Talk with them openly and discuss your fears and expectations. Not only will this alleviate your concerns, but you’ll also receive information that relates directly to you and your upcoming procedure.

What Are the Ways to Calm Anxiety Before Surgery on Your Own?

Once you learn more about the causes of your anxiety and the surgery, you can find the right way to relax and decrease stress. Luckily, options are endless, so choose the ones that will work best for you.

Listen to All the Preoperative Instructions Provided by Your Surgeon

Not only will this keep you occupied but it will also help you to better prepare for your procedure. Depending on the surgery, you probably got a set of tips and instructions from your physician. Apart from keeping you busy, following all of them will also help you feel more in control and help you prepare both physically and mentally.

Distract Yourself

If you focus only on what lies ahead and worry about the surgery, you’ll probably add to the stress and anxiety you already feel. Instead, do your best to distract yourself! Enjoy the hobbies you love and spend some quality time. Whether it’s reading, binging Netflix, or walking, it will help you relax and enjoy your everyday life more.

A woman painting

Engaging in a creative activity is an excellent way to calm anxiety before surgery.

Avoid Other Stressful Situations

If possible, try to avoid other situations that will cause you stress. Of course, that’s not always an option in life. However, if you can find a way to delay or rearrange matters, do it!

For example, if you’re moving to a new home, depending on the circumstances, you might not be able to reschedule it. What you can do is hire moving professionals to help you. Experts at simplemoving.us recommend that you contact your moving coordinator and leave all the difficulties of planning the relocation to them. That way, you’ll ensure a seamless, stress-free relocation and have time to spend on self-care and preparation for your surgery.

Listen to Music

Studies show that listening to music makes us happy and reduces anxiety! So, listen to your favorite songs – from classical to rock or metal! If you can play some instrument, even better!

Try Out Different Relaxation Techniques

Even if you don’t know where to start, don’t worry! You can find excellent beginner videos on YouTube or even take group classes if you want to. Here are some relaxation techniques that you might want to try out:

  • Breathing exercises
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Working out

Spend Time and Engage in Activities With Your Loved Ones

Spending quality time with people we love is an excellent way to calm anxiety before surgery and recharge your batteries. They’ll show you the love and support you need the most at this time. Enjoying your regular activities and conversations will help you feel more optimistic.

A doctor in a white coat

Having a trustworthy surgeon will reduce your stress and anxiety.

How Can Professionals Help You Reduce Anxiety Before the Procedure?

As we’ve mentioned before, being anxious and nervous before any medical procedure is quite normal, and most people feel that way. With that in mind, many facilities offer different possibilities to their patients to help them reduce anxiety and other negative feelings. If you think you can’t deal with anxiety on your own, here are some options to consider:

  • Talking with a professional counselor or therapist will provide you with the necessary support
  • Taking sedatives
  • Joining a support group

Find a Reliable Surgeon

Lastly, find a reliable surgeon for the procedure. Building trust and two-way communication with your surgeon will enable you to feel safe. Plus, they’ll be able to address all your fears, issues, and expectations.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to calm anxiety before surgery. Choose the option that suits you best, and you’ll be able to handle this situation with tranquility. Once it’s all over, you’ll enjoy your life to the fullest!

Dr. Wald Looks forward to
helping you reach your
cosmetic goals.
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Robert Wald, MD
100 E. Valencia Mesa Drive, Suite 300
Fullerton, CA 92835


Phone: 714-312-3549
Fax: 714-738-1862

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