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Plastic Surgery

Cosmetic Surgery Assessments

Choosing to have cosmetic surgery is a significant decision and tends to involve a range of feelings; from excitement and hope to apprehension and worry.  A psychological assessment is an important part of ensuring you receive the best care and the best post-surgery outcome.

Why see me?


I am the current Chair of the UK Special Interest Group of Psychologists Working in Cosmetic Surgery. I am listed as a specialist psychologist for the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.


I provide a sympathetic and detailed assessment, holding your wellbeing at the forefront of my mind. I have built excellent relationships with the surgeons I work with and place high value on multidisciplinary team working.


I appreciate that people who come and see me want a timely and professional service. I will produce a detailed report within 7 working days of seeing you. Liaison with your surgeon is included in my fee.

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Why do I need a psychological assessment prior to surgery?

Most people will have given a lot of thought to whether or not to have surgery. However, surgery is not only a physical process but also an emotional and psychological one. A good surgeon will take a holistic approach to your well-being and will want to be sure that you have the best possible outcome – both physically and emotionally. Having a psychological assessment is a key part of this.


Undergoing surgery is a significant life event and it is important to make sure that you feel prepared for it. The recovery period can be uncomfortable, long and limiting, depending on the type of surgery. People can feel quite vulnerable and sometimes disappointed - especially as results are rarely immediate.  Exploring your expectations and thinking ahead about how you’ll cope is useful. Of course, surgery also comes with risks and complications. None of us expect the complications to happen to us, but it is important to be prepared just in case they do.

What will a psychological assessment involve?

The assessment session will be online and will take approximately an hour. Prior to meeting I will have asked you to complete and return a set of questionnaires. I will be keen to hear about the feature you want to change, the current impact it is having on your life and your hopes for surgery. We will explore what you understand about the surgery, especially with regards to the risks, complications and recovery period. We will discuss your current and previous mental health along with any other appearance-related concerns you may have.


The assessment is also a chance to discuss any worries that you might have about the surgery and to consider coping strategies that might help you. Importantly, the purpose of the assessment is not to ‘clear’ you for, or prevent you from having, cosmetic surgery. It is part of the broader picture of a holistic assessment and will be a resource to discuss with your surgeon when you meet.

"I’ve had mental health problems before, does that mean I can’t have surgery?"

People are sometimes reluctant to see me, worried that previous mental health problems will be a barrier to cosmetic surgery. They aren’t; mental distress is sadly very much a part of modern life. However, it is important to discuss your mental health in the context of surgery as some people’s mental health worsens during the recovery period.

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