Blog — Notes of a Plastic Surgeon

Welcome to my blog. I am a plastic surgeon in Seattle and have been in private practice since 1991. I've seen more than a few interesting faces and cases through my years spent in the exam room, the operating room and the emergency room. And I have an opinion on just about everything relating to plastic surgery (and a lot of unrelated stuff). If you like my blog, let me know. Thanks for reading! Lisa

Sleep deprivation can be a serious post-operative problem.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon blogs about a serious post-operative problem:  Sleep deprivation.

This past week I had a postoperative patient go a little bit crazy on me.  She was over a week post-op, had a very nice early result from her surgery, had no mental health history and yet she just went, well, crazy with anxiety.  She experienced something like a low grade panic attack that lasted for several days.  I saw her repeatedly while she was feeling so anxious and two days ago I figured it out.  She had not been sleeping well since her surgery.  She was seriously sleep deprived and it was making her irrational, depressed and anxious.  blog sleep-deprived

I know a lot about sleep deprivation and feel badly that I did not make the diagnosis in this patient earlier.  As a surgery resident, I pulled impossibly long hours (this was before the 80 hour work week rule for resident physicians) and coined the term “Brain Fog” for it’s effect on my psyche.  Then five years after finishing my residency training and finally catching up on my sleep, I gave birth to twins.  I distinctly remember telling my husband shortly after their birth that I recognized this feeling.  It was “Brain Fog” again caused by sleep deprivation.  I never really went off the rails but I really felt like I might during my residency and my first year as a mother.   I am convinced that sleep deprivation is the cause or at least a major factor in post-partum depression.

Anyway, two days ago, I wrote my patient a prescription for some sleeping pills (after she assured me that she was not suicidal) and ordered her to go home and go to bed and today she came in well rested, rational and feeling so much better about her surgery.  And tonight, I will also sleep a little better because I am a worry wart by nature and this young lady had me worried and a little sleep deprived myself.

Read more about sleep deprivation.

Thanks for reading and try to get a good night’s sleep!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder






Category: General Health, Postoperative Care | Tags: , , , ,

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