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Psychological wellbeing for cosmetic surgery patients

Decision for Surgery
The decision for cosmetic (or indeed reconstructive) surgery is always a big one. Mr Banwell, Cosmetic Surgeon in Sussex, Kent, Surrey and London understands the significance of this step and always aims to support his patients as much as possible. The physical, emotional and psychological well-being of his patients is of the utmost importance and both he and his team are sensitive to this. There is no doubt that cosmetic surgery can create major physical changes and it is inevitable that this can also lead to improved psychological and emotional benefits too; in fact there are many studies in the literature supporting the psychological benefits of cosmetic surgery. However, it is also important to enter into surgery for the right reasons, not to be coerced or pressured and to have access to psychological support when required. The team at the Banwell Clinic is always on hand to answer any questions and there is always a full back up nursing team in the first class hospitals/clinics where Mr Banwell practises (cosmetic surgery in East Grinstead, Haywards Heath, Tunbridge Wells, Brighton, Hove and Harley Street, London). Mr Banwell also has specific links with clinical colleagues who specialise in psychological and emotional wellbeing.

Psychological Assessment
Mr Banwell values the doctor-patient relationship and the confidential matters that are discussed and explored at consultation; indeed it is essential that everything is discussed in an open way and that your past medical history and personal circumstances are disclosed to make an accurate assessment of your your suitability for surgery. In his eyes, the consultation process is therefore fundamental to a patients cosmetic surgery journey and you will be seen on more than one occasion to discuss all aspects of surgery.

For many years, Mr Banwell has utilised a patient questionnaire with specific questions related to psychological wellbeing. In addition, he is able to refer patients on for further expert psychological assessment with colleagues. This may be specifically at his request but is an open access system available to all his patients.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a condition (mental illness) where people constantly worry about the way they look. Not surprisingly, Plastic & Cosmetic surgeons may encounter this condition once in a while; it is important to be vigilant as treating such patients with surgery is usually not successful.

Patients may think something that isnt there (or barely noticeable to others), is a serious defect. The severity of BDD varies from person to person: for example, some people know their feelings arent rational or justified, while others are almost delusional in their conviction. BDD can cause severe emotional distress; interestingly, it is not just vanity, nor is it something a person can just 'forget about' or get over. The preoccupation can often be so extreme that the affected person has trouble functioning at work, school or within social situations. Any part of the body can be targeted. It is thought that up to 3-4% of the population may have BDD, with men and women equally affected. BDD usually starts in the teenage years, when concern over physical appearance is common. Suicide rates among people with BDD are high. Mr Banwell, Consultant Plastic & Cosmetic Surgeon suggests that if you suspect you have BDD, it is imperative that further help is sought from your GP, psychologist or psychiatrist.

Gaylin Tudhope MSc(LCD) BA(Psych) DipAT
Gaylin is one of the leading Consulting Psychologists and Psychotherapists in the UK and lives in Sussex. A noted broadcaster and writer, she is approachable, friendly and is liked by colleagues and patients alike. Her practice is split between Harley Street and Haywards Heath where she would be happy to see you.
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Dr Bo Mills
Dr Bo Mills is a highly respected Consulting Psychiatrist who has many clinical interests. He has worked with cosmetic surgery patients for many years and provides excellent support for Mr Banwell’s patients both in the South East and in London.

BENEFITS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT FOR COSMETIC SURGERY PATIENTS

  • Aids decision making about cosmetic surgery
  • Provides pre- and post-operative support for cosmetic surgery
  • Allows smoother cosmetic surgical journey
  • Helps clarify all surgical and psychological issues for patients undergoing cosmetic surgery
  • Allows alternative strategies and solutions to cosmetic surgery to be discussed
  • Offers long-term support for patients following cosmetic surgery

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