When a Pre-Surgical Evaluation May Be Recommended
The number of Americans undergoing cosmetic procedures (either plastic surgery or minimally invasive treatments such as Botox) has more than doubled over the last decade. In 2015 alone, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that over 15.9 million procedures were performed in the U.S. (1.7 million of these were surgical).
While the majority of prospective patients interested in cosmetic enhancement are of sound mental health (as referenced in many clinical studies including this 2015 study in Clinical Psychological Science), some individuals may have unrealistic expectations. In such cases a pre-surgical psychological evaluation may be helpful.
Clinical Psychologist Chris Nikolaidis, PhD, recently discussed the need for pre-surgical evaluations in an interview with the American Psychological Association. “Sometimes surgeons have a kind of instinctive feeling that there might be something there and want to get a second opinion from a psychologist,” he says.
Nikolaidis (brother of Gregory Nikolaidis, MD at Westlake Dermatology) regularly screens patients for body dysmorphic disorder and other psychological problems and checks for psychological diagnoses and treatment in patients’ pasts. He probes their motivations and goals for seeking surgery, ensuring they are seeking changes for themselves and not others.
See this article to learn more about the benefits of pre-surgical evaluations.