Mental Health Assessment for Cosmetic Surgery: What You Need to Know!

It’s essential to have good physical and psychological health before cosmetic surgery. Screening for relevant mental health conditions is now a professional requirement for Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons in Australia.

Being psychologically healthy for surgery means having emotional resilience to navigate the vulnerable post-surgery period. After cosmetic surgery, some people can experience challenges like dissatisfaction, pain, adjustment problems, social isolation, and worsening mental health. An assessment will help you and your surgeon understand your unique psychological strengths and weaknesses and allow you to plan what support they may need to ensure that surgery has positive outcomes and will not negatively affect mental health.

A comprehensive psychological assessment involves a detailed conversation with a psychologist. Also, it utilises questionnaires and collateral information from friends or family members who can provide valuable insights into your mental health.

Assessment evaluates various aspects of your psychological and social functioning, developmental and educational history, relationships, current mental state, and mental health disorders, including challenges like body and gender dysphoria. It also explores your motivations for surgery and expectations afterwards. Additionally, the assessment considers your anxiety levels, decision-making tendencies, and post-surgery support. It’s important to note that a psychological assessment is not a pass/fail test and that psychologists do not make decisions about surgery; it simply aids in understanding your mental health for surgery, identifies any potential risks, makes recommendations for any support that may be needed to promote and protect your wellbeing.

If any concerns arise regarding your emotional readiness for surgery, they can be discussed with your surgeon, and a referral may be suggested to address any issues.

Overall, a psychological assessment ensures your well-being and increases the likelihood of your happiness and satisfaction following surgery.

Written by Jenna Axtens

Jenna is a Clinical Psychologist. Jenna enjoys connecting with clients across the lifespan with a range of concerns. Jenna has a special interest in Neurodiversity, Sleep Psychology and Transdiagnostic approaches to treatment.

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