A recent study regarding patient satisfaction after facial plastic surgery revealed that those patients who were taking antidepressants were more satisfied with their outcomes than those who didn’t take them. This begs for the obvious question: do antidepressants really make you more satisfied with your plastic surgery?
I would guess that over half of the patients seen in my office are taking antidepressants—a surprisingly high number to some. It would seem intuitive that those patients taking “happy pills” would be more satisfied with their procedure results. Or, maybe those who are not taking antidepressants are simply not satisfied no matter what.
It is common for patients to experience a “letdown” after cosmetic plastic surgery. It is seen about two weeks after the procedure and is more common when a patient has plastic surgery of the face. This letdown after surgery is quite different from true depression. The former is temporary while the latter lasts for a longer time.
This “letdown” or catharsis is quite normal. It happens after many big events in a person’s life, like a wedding or the birth of a child, because emotions run so high in anticipation of the outcome. Perhaps in plastic surgery “letdowns,” it’s the antidepressants that keep patients from this low period.
All Board Certified Plastic Surgeons want the best for their patients and strive to make them happy. Trying to determine those who are best suited for plastic surgery is challenging (I often think that this is the hardest part of being a plastic surgeon!), so having a good relationship with your surgeon and making sure that you have realistic expectations will help ensure that you are satisfied with your plastic surgery investment.
As a general rule, from my experience, a happy patient before surgery is a happy patient after surgery, antidepressants or not.
Robert Caridi, MD