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PSYCHOLOGICAL WELLBEING FOR COSMETIC SURGERY PATIENTS

Decision for Surgery

The decision for cosmetic (or indeed reconstructive) surgery is always a significant one. Mr Banwell, Plastic, Reconstructive & 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 & emotional 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 and Harley Street, London). Mr Banwell also has specific links with clinical colleagues locally and in London who specialise in psychological and emotional wellbeing.

 

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE AESTHETIC PATIENT

It is important to recognise that both cosmetic surgery and non-surgical aesthetic medicine treatments can have massive beneficial effects on a person’s well-being and self esteem. However, one of the most of important roles of your surgeon is to recognise any warning signs of emotional instability, severe anxiety, depression or body dysmorphia (BDD) that may affect your surgical journey, acceptance of any complications and your overall recovery. It is therefore vital you have realistic expectations of partial improvement and that you are clear about potential outcome.

 

ACCESS TO PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT

One of the highlights of Mr Banwell’s practice is his commitment to the wellbeing of his patients. He takes this commitment extremely seriously and he adheres to the national recommendations of offering all of his patients access to psychological support during their cosmetic surgery journey should they so wish. In fact, to great acclaim and industry support, Mr Banwell was the first Plastic Surgeon in the UK to offer ON SITE psychological services in his clinic at The McIndoe Centre in East Grinstead.

 

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 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 (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 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. Mr Banwell has been referring to Gaylin for many years and finds his patients are grateful for this. In fact Mr Banwell was the first in the UK to adopt (to great acclaim) an in-house psychologist into his cosmetic surgery practice and this has supported many patients through the (sometimes) emotional cosmetic surgery journey.  Her practice is split between Harley Street and Haywards Heath where she would be happy to see you.Please note that there is a charge for her service (details will be provided by her administrative team)
Click here for more information.

Dr Becky Spelman is a psychologist and CEO of The Private Therapy Clinic in London. She is highly qualified and very experienced in the field of behavioural psychology and appears in the media on a very regular basis. She sees all many of problems and is also very happy to see patients seeking cosmetic surgery and supporting them through their journey. Please note there is a charge for her service. The clinic number is 0203 887 1738

  • 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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The team at the McIndoe Surgical Centre who looked after me were very friendly and helpful. They calmed me down and put to rest any last minute concerns. I love the outcome of the surgery and would definitely recommend Mr Banwell to other people.


Francesca L.

After deciding to go down the surgery route I contact Mr Banwell’s team and was dealt with quickly and efficiently but most of all everyone was so friendly and helpful which put me at ease. The care from start to finish and still on-going was 110% and everyone who I dealt with was fantastic. Mr Banwell was always professional and friendly and put me at ease from the very beginning. I am so pleased with my results and putting myself in Mr Banwell’s care was the best thing I could have done. It has completely changed my life and I can’t thank you all enough. I have already recommended you to my aunty! Thanks again.


Ruth G.

Just a note to say a big thank you for your professional expertise, your excellent care and your kindness towards me during my treatment.


Marilyn W.

Mr Paul Banwell performed a wider excision for me in April 2008 following a diagnosis of melanoma. The care and support provided by him has been second to none and I would have no hesitation in recommending him. Paul’s approach to surgery and post-surgery is one of honesty and excellence in his field of expertise. I feel safe in his care.


Sarah B.

I can honestly say that having my abdominoplasty with Mr Paul Banwell was a truly incredible experience. All the staff were very friendly and efficient.  The care I received with him was expert, professional and totally honest and I found him to be extremely kind and reassuring. Every step of my procedure was explained clearly and in detail.  The nursing care was second to none and the team looked after me expertly and with dignity.  I have an amazing flat abdomen and my clothes look and feel so much better than before my surgery. My linear scar is flat and neat. Everyone comments on how lovely I look and I have found so much more confidence in myself.  I can highly recommend Paul and his team! With grateful thanks to you all!


Alison C.

Mr Banwell provides an excellent service in pre-operation information, as well as total expertise and attention to detail in surgery. He was very informative and helpful after care.  I received excellent and sympathetic nursing care and anaesthetist. Mr Banwell has a very helpful practice manager and assistant.  My eyes have regained an ‘openness’ similar to my younger years. I no longer look tired.  I would highly recommend Mr Banwell to anyone considering cosmetic surgery.


Victoria B.

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The Banwell Clinic

The Banwell Clinic is recognised as a boutique cosmetic clinic specialising in all aspects of skin health and our philosophy is to help Protect, Restore & Rejuvenate your face and body.  Our extensive portfolio of treatments include injectables, thread lifts, plasma shower, luxurious signature facials, acne treatments, microdermabrasion, hair removal and cellulite treatments, all carried out in a friendly, warm environment by an expert team.

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