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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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I thought the team were helpful and efficient because they helped me to schedule my appointments around my working hours. They were always at hand to discuss any questions I had with a friendly and professional manor. Mr Banwell was amazing. He was totally honest and helped me decide which type of breast implant and procedure to have. We talked through my torrent of questions and concerns with ease. He asked me how I wanted my breast to look and I said I wanted them as natural as possible and that is exactly what I got. My new breasts have certainly made me feel more confident with ym body. I previously felt inadequate in the breast area and now I can?t stop smiling! I am so pleased with the outcome I only wish I?d done it sooner. The operation certainly wasn?t as scary as I thought it would be and I was looked after with the utmost care.


Samantha S.

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.

Mr Banwell was highly recommended by a friend of a friend. She was very satisfied with results which I witnessed. I trusted what I heard and what I saw. My meetings with Mr Banwell only reassured me further. Mr Banwell offered additional discussion time pre op & several follow ups post op. His admin team were 100% helpful and efficient. His manner was approachable and accessible. I would not hesitate to recommend his professional expertise, competitive cost and charming manner. At no point did I feel judged, intimidated or overwhelmed. This was an incredibly positive experience, many thanks to Mr Banwell and the rest of the team.


Sarah P.

I was referred to Mr Paul Banwell in February 2010 when I was diagnosed with an advanced melanoma in the lymph nodes in my left groin.  At my consultation he explained in layman’s terms my diagnosis and all details regarding the operation I needed.  Mr Banwell operated on 27th February 2010. The operation was a complete success – he has removed all the cancer as subsequent scans have proven.  I then spent seven days recuperating in the McIndoe Surgical Centre in East Grinstead under Mr Banwell’s and his specialised teams care. They were all wonderful. Mr Banwell was at my bedside every morning to check my progress. His kindness and caring knew no bounds. He made all my fears and anxieties groundless and replaced them with optimism for a great feature and my aftercare was first class.  I would recommend this highly professional, dedicated, humane family man to all who need any medical intervention. He is the best. How do you thank a man who gives you your life back? There are no adequate words.


Pauline W.

I just want to thank you for all your care, expertise and advice.

After the first consultation I felt I was in some of the best hands. I expected to feel more confidence in myself ? this was met and exceeded! I didn?t expect the scars to be so neat and small I am very pleased with them. It was a great experience; there was always someone to contact/speak to with questions and they were all supportive. You will not be disappointed.


Kirstie W.

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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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