Mental Health Evaluation: Should You Have A Psychiatric Consult Before Plastic Surgery?

john park plastic surgery Mental Health Evaluation Should You Have A Psychiatric Consult Before Plastic Surgery

Mental Health Evaluation: Should You Have A Psychiatric Consult Before Plastic Surgery?

To Evaluate Or Not To Evaluate: That Is The Question

Per year, an estimated 1.8 million people undergo plastic surgery procedures, with rates rising each year for the past five years. From in vitro fertilization to organ transplants to cosmetic enhancements, plastic surgery procedures often require a pre-surgical mental health evaluation. As rates of plastic surgery rise, so do the burden of labor on doctors who specialize in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery along with the psychiatrists who complete pre-surgical evaluations.

Setting expectations

While pre-surgical evaluations have become standard practice across the plastic surgery industry, patients don’t often have insight into why evaluations are required before surgery. Pre-surgical evaluations have become standard practice to ensure that the patient is ready for the procedure while identifying factors that empower a quick and healthy recovery. This way, both patient and doctor are aligned in expectations for the subsequent surgery, increasing the likelihood of overall satisfaction.

Preparing the patient

Many surgeons refer patients to psychiatrists for a pre-surgical evaluation to ensure that the patient is fully prepared for the surgery. Being mentally prepared for plastic surgery is equally important to being physically prepared. According to a recent study, psychiatric disorders are more common among people pursuing cosmetic procedures. Many insurance companies require an evaluation before approving a patient for surgery. An assessment gives the patient a transparent and comprehensive understanding of post-operative impacts and aftercare, limiting the potential for discomfort or complications.

Improving post-surgery recovery

In addition to preparedness, doctors suggest that a psychological evaluation helps patients identify risks along with strategies to improve the post-surgical recovery process. Working with a psychiatrist helps patients understand how factors such as anxiety and stress impact the recovery process. By developing a roadmap of strengths and weaknesses, patients can understand the underlying motivations behind undergoing a cosmetic procedure. Furthermore, a recent study suggests that patients who identify internal goals for the surgery are considered at lower risk for dissatisfaction. By identifying goals with a psychiatrist, patients can develop a post-surgery treatment plan while lowering the risk of potential complications.

Identifying goals via a pre-surgical evaluation

As plastic surgery rates continue to rise, so do rates of pre-surgical evaluations. Both cosmetic procedures and psychiatric consultations are intensely personal; requiring one before the other allows patients to identify the underlying motivation for the procedure while developing internal goals. While now considered standard practice across much of the plastic surgery industry, patients can leverage the evaluation as a resource to ensure satisfaction, both internally and externally.

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