Cosmetic surgery is fraught with red flags and potentially fatal or irreversible risks. It’s not something that can or should be done without extensive research and mental, emotional and physical preparation. At Australia’s largest cosmetic surgery provider, The Cosmetic Institute, patients are the first priority. With the appointment of registered psychologist Maria Faustino, The Cosmetic Institute is taking further steps to ensure patients are mentally and emotionally equipped to undergo surgery. Faustino consults with patients in TCI’s state of the art Internationally Accredited clinics in Sydney from her office in Sydney’s CBD.

As an accredited assessor at Comcare and Workcover NSW, an Associate Member of the Australian Psychological Society (Assoc MAPS) and a registered member of AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency), Maria Faustino uses her extensive professional experience to support patients in making a fully informed and independent decision about their procedure. The Cosmetic Institute’s Managing Director, David Segal says, “We operate on more than 5,000 patients per year, and having a resident psychologist available to ensure our patients are emotionally and mentally ready for cosmetic surgery, is just another piece of the high level patient support we offer at our facilities.”

Maria Faustino joins the Institute’s ranks of highly credentialed and experienced surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses. She highlights that at The Cosmetic Institute,

“We take extra care when a patient exhibits certain signs or symptoms, because medical treatment with a psychologist may be the preferred option to surgical intervention.” Here Maria points out a number of potential red flags when assessing if a patient is suitable for surgery:

  1. EXPERIENCING A CRISIS

“Some people turn to cosmetic surgery in an attempt to distract themselves from a crisis or provide comfort during an uncomfortable situation, but the reality is that cosmetic surgery will never directly address an emotional issue,” Faustino says. These situations may include divorce, job loss, or death of a loved one.

  1. FEELING PRESSURED

“Undergoing a procedure such as breast augmentation is a serious decision and if you feel pressured by an external party, it’s a good idea to speak with a psychologist to ensure that you’re making an independent and informed decision.” Faustino includes in this category pressure by a friend, family member, or sexual partner.

  1. UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

“It’s important to remember that cosmetic surgery may result in a youthful appearance but it will not stop the natural ageing process.” Faustino adds that, “Cosmetic surgery alone does not solve problems or change you as a person and it is important that a patient has realistic expectations from the outset.”

  1. ISSUES WITH PAIN MANAGEMENT

“The more informed you are, the better equipped you will be to manage your pain and recover successfully.” All cosmetic surgery procedures involve some degree of pain as well as varying recovery time frames and it’s important for patients to seek as much information as possible before the procedure.

  1. ENGAGING IN DYSFUNCTIONAL HEALTH HABITS

Dysfunctional habits such as binging, purging, or engaging in excessive diet and exercise regimes are indicative of an underlying psychological condition, says Faustino. “Undergoing cosmetic surgery may change the way your body looks, but it will not change unhealthy habits related to body image. If you are engaging in any of these habits, it is crucial to speak with a psychologist so you can address these issues before undergoing surgery.”

For further information please visit The Cosmetic Institute.