Considering cosmetic surgery but need a psychological assessment first? 

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Pre Cosmetic Surgery Assessment London

A pre-surgery psychological assessment is routinely offered for things like bariatric surgery, and is increasingly requested by surgeons and insurance companies for other forms of cosmetic surgery. It 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 means you can: 

  • get clear on what is truly driving you to choose surgery
  • consider long term implications and side effects 
  • examine your current lifestyle habits and changes to make to improve surgery outcomes
  • look at your support network and coping skills 
  • determine the effects of surgery on your emotional health including any prior mental health issues 
  • discuss other perspectives and options that might meet your goals 
  • create a treatment plan if any mental health issues or disorders are diagnosed that need dealing with first.

Preparing for plastic surgery 

It’s normal to expect to feel better after cosmetic surgery, particularly if we were teased about an aspect of our appearance since childhood. Cosmetic surgery results can be a great relief, and in some cases can alleviate pain and discomfort, going a long way to improve our lives.  

But it's important to understand pre-surgery if our expectations of what an operation can achieve are realistic. Cosmetic surgery can't, for example, improve relationships, our career, or who we are as a person. If this is what we hope for we risk feeling letdown and worse after surgery, not better. But 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 look at and troubleshoot prior mental health issues like low self-esteem, eating disorders, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), that can mean a complicated relationship with our body. This is not to mean you are not a candidate for surgery. But it is important to be sure that this is the right timing, and to ascertain if you might need some further support with these issues 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. It develops in adolescence, so to you, your preoccupation and distress over what feels a defect might by now seem normal. A classic example is never going out as you are convinced you are very overweight, when really your body size is normal.

Recognising if you have dysmorphia 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 cosmetic 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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All of our practitioners are qualified and accredited with reputable professional associations for counselling and psychotherapy.

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Harley Therapy Ltd. “Assessment for Cosmetic Surgery in London • Harley Therapy™”. Harley Therapy, 20 Jan. 2021, Accessed 8 Mar. 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 March 8, 2021.

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