A plastic surgeon may refer patients to a psychologist for further evaluation. This process is completely normal and is beneficial for both the patient and the cosmetic surgeon. A psychological evaluation can identify strengths and weaknesses as well as motivation for the surgery itself.
While a plastic surgeon can correct a "problem", such as a nose the patient dislikes, a surgical change will not heal the anxiety or distress around the area undergoing change.
Why Do I Need a Psychological Evaluation Before cosmetic surgery? As a Plastic Surgeon, Why refer for an evaluation?
A psychological evaluation can help to identify ways to improve recovery post-surgery. Patients need to be mentally prepared for the physical and mental impact that these procedures can have. The information discovered within the evaluation can provide the physician with information around your preparedness.
Stress, anxiety, depression, or being mentally unprepared for pre-or-post-surgical requirements can negatively impact recovery. Patients are also likely to benefit from ongoing therapy post-operation in conjunction with traditional medicine to improve healing.
Many Insurance Companies Require Pre-Surgical Evaluations
The evaluation may not always be because the surgeon wants to make sure the patient is in the best mental health for an operation, many insurance companies require an evaluation to be cleared for surgery. Having a full understanding of the effects of surgery, any potential complications and the care required for healing greatly improves success and recovery after surgery.
Body Dysmorphia and cosmetic surgery
Body Dysmorphia may manifest as extreme distress about a physical feature, so much so that it is something only the patient sees as important to change. Research has shown that cosmetic surgery has little effect on patients who present with dysphoria.
Unfortunately, many who suffer from body dysmorphic disorder find themselves unhappy with the outcome of the surgery, experiencing similar issues to before. This is where therapy combines with medication post-surgery, helping the patient heal both mentally and physically.
Psychotherapy can benefit cosmetic surgery patients for the long term, even treating those with anorexia or other mood disorders, who are also more likely to seek plastic surgery. While none of this means you, or patients, should ever have plastic surgery, it is important to assess if needs would be better met with psychotherapy or psychiatric treatment before, or as an interim to plastic surgery.
Contact me today to learn more about the process and to answer any questions you may have, whether you are a doctor or someone looking to have a procedure done.
Have a question about plastic surgery candidacy therapy? Are you a plastic surgeon looking to refer clients for a pre-surgery appointment? Use the contact form or give me a call today to learn more. I look forward to talking with you!