Private Psychological Assessment for Cosmetic Surgery IN LONDON
Opting for cosmetic plastic surgery is a big decision, and it is important to be sure that one is doing it for the right reasons. In some cases, plastic surgery can resolve an issue that is causing a lot of distress to a patient, and it alleviates their distress. In others, plastic surgery is merely a symptom a deeper, underlying reason for distress. In these cases, the surgery is unlikely to help matters, and may even make things worse. Patients also need to be aware that, while they may well look more physically attractive to themselves and others, it is likely that their lives and friendships will remain substantially the same following the procedure.
As all surgery comes with a certain amount of risk, it’s essential to do due diligence beforehand, and responsible plastic surgeons often require prospective patients to undergo a psychological evaluation before finalising their decision.
Often, cosmetic surgeons start the ball rolling with a simple screening process that is designed to ensure that the prospect patient has reasonable expectations of what the outcome of the procedure will look like, and that they are planning to have the procedure to satisfy their own desires, rather than to please someone else. Furthermore, the presence of a severe underlying mental health condition can be a significant counterindication and decisions about surgery must at least be taken on a case to case basis.
Following the initial screening, patients may be referred to a psychologist for further evaluation. This is useful in a range of areas, including identifying a dysphoria, which may manifest as extreme distress about a physical feature that appears unremarkable to anyone but the patient themselves. This is important, because the research indicates that cosmetic surgery generally does not make much of a difference to patients who present with dysphoria, and that many of them are not happy with the outcome of the surgery, as they find themselves experiencing the same emotional issues as before. While plastic surgery can correct a “problem” like a nose or jawline that the patient dislikes, it will not transform them radically. Instead, they are more likely to benefit from psychotherapy, perhaps in conjunction with an appropriate medication regime. Patients seeking plastic surgery also have higher than average incidences of conditions including anorexia and other food-related disorders, as well as higher rates of a range of mood disorders. While none of this means that they should never have plastic surgery at all, it is essential to ascertain their mental health at the time of applying for surgery, and to assess if their needs would be better met with a different sort of intervention, such as a course of psychotherapy or psychiatric treatment, before or instead of having plastic surgery.
At its best, plastic surgery can make a very positive difference in the lives of some patients. However, as stated at the outset, all surgery carries some risks, and should never be entered into lightly. A thorough assessment prior to the surgery is to the benefit of the surgeon carrying out the procedure, the family and loved ones of the patient and—above all—the patient themselves.
IF I’M SEEKING A Psychological Assessment for Cosmetic Surgery IN LONDON, WHAT SHALL I DO NEXT?