What are Plastic Surgery Pre-Operative Evaluations all about?
Updated: Jul 27
Glad you asked!
Your consultant can request that you attend a pre-operative evaluation. I'm always very reassured when a surgeon requests this extra safety measure. So what is my job during such an appointment? I'll tell you.
First, I want to declare that I have no prior relationship with any of the surgeons I do these assessments for. I come from a completely unbiased position.
Although I hold a Masters degree in Clinical Counselling and a BSc Hons in Psychology, I am not qualified to diagnose any potential underlying mental health conditions. What I can provide is an opportunity for you to reflect on your desire and reasoning for wanting plastic surgery.
It's well known that we humans can displace feelings of inner turmoil onto perceived external flaws. When our hearts ache following a failed relationship, we can convince ourselves that our nose is too large. When we divorce after years of marriage, we feel an intense need to finally have that breast augmentation. We start to convince ourselves that we cannot be loved or accepted (by ourselves or others) until we repair these external 'flaws'. It often happens where plastic surgery can uproot underlying and dormant psychological issues. It can uncover unprocessed hurts from the past that needs to be aired and explored, but as this might be out of your awareness it can surface AFTER surgery.
A pre-operative evaluation gives you the opportunity to delve a little deeper into your life story. For you to share with me how you've come to this place of surgery contemplation. It's not about trying to convince me that you are 'fit for purpose' (again, I have no say or judgement in that). It's about giving you the time and quiet space to reflect on the thoughts and feelings that are driving you to pursuing surgery. It's my task to highlight certain commonalities or behaviours from your life story that might help you reflect a little deeper on what your drivers are for pursuing surgery.
Once our session is over, I will compile your responses into a report for the surgeon.
In the meantime, you might also reflect on what has come up in the session for you. This can often lead to clients taking some extra time to reflect pre-surgery. If anything has cropped up for you, THIS is the time to seek out a counsellor to support you through your new awareness.
As I've written the report, I cannot offer you post-surgery counselling, but I will happily refer you on.
On that note, I can offer post-surgery counselling to anyone one whom I haven't done a report for. A blog post on post-surgery counselling to follow...