New psychological screening for plastic surgery patients in UK

July 13, 2012

New psychological screening for plastic surgery patients in UK
New psychological screening for plastic surgery patients in UK

Whether they're interested in a nose job, breast implants or liposuction, one of the first things many potential patients want to know whether they are good physical candidates for the surgery. However, British researchers say it's also important to be mentally prepared before undergoing plastic surgery.

Scientists at the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) at the University of the West of England in Bristol have developed a screening process they say could help manage patient expectations and improve surgical satisfaction. They say most of the surgeons they have polled indicate that they would like to implement the screening process, which was developed by Professor Nichola Rumsey and Dr. Alex Clarke.

"This new screening process is designed to provide a quick and efficient method through which prospective patients can be screened and assessed in more depth where necessary, and then guided to alternative care where appropriate," Professor Rumsey said in PHYS.ORG. "It will help surgeons to offer care tailored to the needs of their patients, and will generate much needed understanding of the psychological impact of cosmetic surgery. The screening process is designed to provide a more thorough exploration of the rationale for surgery, and offers a strong indication of whether or not surgery is the appropriate choice for a patient."

The new screening tool follows a recently published study from the British All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image, which recommended mandatory psychological evaluations for plastic surgery patients.

"Psychological assessment is an important part of any patient's aesthetic surgery episode and should be routine," stated the study. "This part of a patient's care must be delivered by those adequately trained, and reliable psychological assessment tools should be developed."

The popularity of plastic surgery has grown significantly in recent years both in the U.S. and abroad. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the number of cosmetic surgeries has increased more than 72 percent since 1997.

In addition to choosing a licensed, board-certified physician, those considering a cosmetic procedure are encouraged to thoroughly research their surgeon and to discuss their expectations during consultations.

"The surgeon's most important job is to figure out what the patient's concept is of what they want changed," a Pennsylvania-based doctor who admits to turning down as many as 40 percent of prospective patients, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "It's challenging. It's sitting down and getting to know somebody. Listen to the quality of the questions they ask."


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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