The plastic surgery psychology team consists of specialist clinical psychologists and psychological experts.
They ensure plastic surgery patients receive the best possible psychological treatment after a change in appearance (altered appearance) and before their surgery.
The team provide support in the following ways.
Assessing alternative options to plastic surgery
For this, the team ask patients several questions:
- What impact does altered or unusual appearance have on your life?
- What do you hope plastic surgery will change about your life?
- Are there alternatives to procedures like scar removal or birth mark removal?
They assess each patient to see if these changes can be made without plastic surgery.
Preparing patients for plastic surgery
The team can help patients set goals and change any necessary behaviour before an operation, such as stopping smoking.
Managing patient expectations
The team work hard to ensure plastic surgery patients fully understand their surgery, what is planned and what it will involve.
They work with patients individually and in groups to educate them about the risks and complications of their plastic surgery, as well as how they can reduce risk and manage their recovery after the operation.
Managing patient trauma
Some patients can be referred to plastic surgery after being seriously injured or experiencing trauma.
Managing the psychological impact of trauma is as important as managing the physical changes.
Our psychologists monitor problems and offer psychological treatment when needed.
Assessing cosmetic surgery cases
The NHS provides cosmetic surgery only in exceptional cases. Surgical and psychological assessments are needed to provide reports for the cosmetic surgery tribunal, which makes a final decision about each case.
Treating appearance anxiety
Some patients with minor changes in appearance can become excessively worried and preoccupied. Others may reach a point in treatment where plastic surgery has achieved as much as is possible, but appearance remains altered.
Our clinical psychologists can help by reducing appearance anxiety and improving self-confidence.