Considering cosmetic surgery but need a psychological assessment first? 

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Pre Cosmetic Surgery Assessment London

A pre-operation psychological assessment has long been a requirement for bariatric surgery. Now surgeons and insurance companies are increasingly asking for one before other forms of cosmetic surgery, too.

An assessment is also in your own best interest. 

It helps you ask important questions about your intentions and expectations for surgery, and to mentally and emotionally prepare for what is a serious and often irreversible decision. 

The benefits of a psychological assessment for cosmetic surgery procedures 

A psychological assessment before cosmetic surgery helps you get clear on: 

  • what is truly driving you to choose surgery
  • the long-term implications for your mental, physical, and emotional health 
  • lifestyle changes that can improve surgery outcomes
  • who your support network is and what coping skills you'll need
  • other options that could meet your goals 
  • a treatment plan for any mental health issues or disorders that need dealing with first.

Preparing for plastic surgery 

Cosmetic surgery results can be a great relief. They can alleviate pain and discomfort, and help us feel more at ease in our skin.  But it's important to understand before your surgery if your expectations of what an operation can achieve are realistic.

Cosmetic surgery can't, for example, improve relationships, your career, or who you are as a person. If this is what you hope for, you risk feeling letdown and worse after surgery, not better. These are things that talk therapy can, on the other hand, achieve. 

The impact of cosmetic surgery on mental health

Preparation for surgery also helps you troubleshoot prior mental health issues like low self-esteem, eating disorders, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), all of which can mean a complicated relationship with our body.

This is not to mean, if you have one of these issues, that you are not a candidate for surgery. But it is important to be sure that this is the right timing, or it would be better to have some mental health support first. 

Cosmetic procedures and body dysmorphic disorder

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) involves a distorted idea of your physical appearance that negatively affects the way you live your life. A classic example is never going out as you are convinced you are very overweight, when really your body size is average.

Recognising if you have dysmorphia is important as it can protect you from a post-surgery crisis.

Studies suggest that up to 15% of clients seeking cosmetic surgery procedures have body dysmorphic disorder, and that the disorder means a client will not be satisfied with the outcome of any surgery but risks feeling worse about their appearance instead of better. [1]  

Assessing cosmetic surgery at Harley Therapy™ London

At Harley Therapy you are in the best of hands. All of our psychiatrists, counselling psychologists, and psychotherapists are experts in their field with years of experience. 

 Ready for your pre-surgery psychological assessment? Call us now or register your interest via our online booking form

Further reading on surgery and mental health

[1] Crerand, Canice & Franklin, Martin & Sarwer, David. (2008). MOC-PS(SM) CME Article: Patient Safety: Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Cosmetic Surgery. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 122. 1-15. 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181888ffd. 


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Harley Therapy Ltd. “Assessment for Cosmetic Surgery in London • Harley Therapy™”. Harley Therapy, 20 Jan. 2021, Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.


Harley Therapy Ltd. (2021, January 20). Assessment for Cosmetic Surgery in London • Harley Therapy™. Retrieved from


Harley Therapy Ltd. "Assessment for Cosmetic Surgery in London • Harley Therapy™." Last modified January 20, 2021. Accessed August 3, 2021.

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