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Tips For Post-Surgery Success: Part 2

Posted by Dr. Donna Restivo on Dec 17, 2018 4:52:00 PM

In nutrition, Losing Weight, shoulder surgery

In a previous post, we discussed the benefits of being prepared for your surgery and made sure to give you tips on things to do prior to the big day. In this post, we are going to discuss a topic that seldom gets talked about…Post Surgery Depression. While many doctors fail to warn patients about the risk of post-surgery depression, it is something that you need to know as it can happen in all patients, whether the surgery was big or small.

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Based on past patient’s experiences, these are a few of the reasons why people feel depressed after they undergo a surgical procedure: 

 Reactions to painkillers. The depression side effects may be listed in tiny print on the bottle of the painkillers you are prescribed, but it helps to know about this threat in advance. Like other medications, these pills alter the brain’s reward and pleasure system and tend to fluctuate hormones, which can lead to a loss of good feelings. The longer you are on painkillers, the more likely you are to suffer from depression. 

 Reactions to anesthesia. When we have anesthesia, our bodies and brain essentially shut down, and like most things, it takes time to get everything up and running again. What we don’t often get told is that it might take some time to get our brain back in gear, which could affect our mood in the meantime. 

 Chronic pain. It’s hard to stay upbeat when you are experiencing immense pain. Depending on your history, if this is your first surgery, you may not be as patient when it comes to the recovery, and those feelings can lead to frustration over not doing your usual activities. This in turn, leads to feelings of depression. 

 The death equation. Just hearing or saying the word “death,” is enough to make some patients’ heads spin, which is why it’s hard to get back to normal after a major surgery. When we undergo such a big procedure, there is always that thought that something could happen in the operating room, and even if these are only passing thoughts, they can wreak havoc on your brain. It takes a while to get back to your normal state of thinking after you’ve taken the fact that you might die during surgery, into consideration. 

 Physical and emotional stressors. Whenever we must undergo something out of the norm, our bodies and mind work together to take the fear away and it ends up putting a lot of extra pressure on us. This can be exhausting both mentally and physically, and result in depression. 

 

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