The High Emotional Cost of Plastic Surgery that No One Tells You About

Patient Expert

This sharepost is part of a series about total body contouring plastic surgery that My Bariatric Life underwent following massive weight loss. ead  My Bariatric Life's Total Body Lift - Part 1: Why Did I Do This?

my bariatric life, dr. joseph f. cappella

I often have written about the emotional trauma that I have been through with my body contouring plastic surgery. And now even 14-months post my tummy tuck plastic surgery the emotional toll continues. Women often have told me how brave I am to have gone through all of this.  But very few people know the full extent of what I have been through. It is beyond the pale, egregious, and completely undeserved.

This week it became too much for even me to bear. Everyone has their breaking point and I reached mine. I considered cancelling my stage 3 plastic surgery scheduled for September 29th.

Allow me to pull back the curtain and show you the ugly side of plastic surgery. This has been my experience:

  • Humiliation of my pre-op body being naked for photos with my surgeon, as well as in a room full of male and female healthcare professionals for markups and Betadine washes
  • Verbal abuse and harassment by a medical assistant
  • Violation of my HIPPA Rights by the same medical asisstant
  • Rushing to the ER in the middle of the night for a possible complication
  • Sexual assault by a plastic surgeon during two exams
  • My doctors refusing to help me when I turned to them after the assault
  • The manifestation of panic attacks that I had never had previously and which are likely PTSD from the assault
  • Elevated blood pressure due to stress that required medication to control, and which subsided after my stage 2 plastic surgery
  • Being screened for several rare diseases just before my stage 2 plastic surgery and the strong belief that I would die during that surgery
  • Being fully self-disclosing to my doctors so that they could help me but instead they used my words to cause me harm
  • Being lied to the day before my surgery, which caused me to go into surgery very stressed
  • Complications from my brachioplasty  after surgery that resulted in my right arm incision opening up, and webbing in the right armpit that caused frozen shoulder syndrome
  • Traveling out of state for surgery and being all alone during weeks of recovery
  • Being nearly totally dependent on my husband during the first few months of recovery and not being able to live a normal life during months of recovery after each of my three surgeries last year
  • Dissension within my family
  • My plastic surgeon canceling my facelift surgery because he said I ask too many questions and take too much of his time
  • The P.A. getting mad at me on the phone and later refusing to do my stage 3 plastic surgery
  • My husband accusing me of being too into my looks and up to no good

I think that captures nearly all of it. And every single time I held my head up high and moved forward. I forgave those who hurt me, and tried to make things right with them. I guess I have been far too nice... or should I say naive? What keeps going through my mind? The words and actions of those who were suppossed to care for me say, "You don't matter."

To be fair, my husband supported me through this incredulous  journey  for a very long time. But it took its toll on an already tenuous situation: relocating out of state, starting a new business, and renovating a 6600 sq.ft. house. He did not deserve to be further burdened with the  "shit storm" that surrounded my plastic surgery. As I wrote at the beginning of my this post, everyone has their breaking point.  My husband got me through most of the bad times. And my surgeon helped me through rough patches many times. That neither were there for me 100% of the time does not make them bad people. It makes them human. But, that realization does not make me hurt any less. It just makes me able to forgive.

Was it worth it -- was the plastic surgery results worth all the money spent and all of the physical and emotional trauma? What choice do I have but to say yes, and hold my head high and move forward? There are no do-overs.

There is so much to be joyful for with plastic surgery, but people should know it is a difficult journey physically, financially, and emotionally.  I know that I will go through with my final surgery as planned. I just wonder what the cost will be to me emotionally? What more can go wrong? And that is a train of thought I do not want to have late at night when I cannot sleep.

And more did go wrong. Learn what happened in my next sharepost in this series, "My Bariatric Life Serious Complication from Plastic Surgery after Weight Loss."

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