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Consultant's warning following Cheltenham suicide of cosmetic surgery patient

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: March 09, 2013

By MICHAEL PURTON

  • LIFE-CHANGING: Plastic surgery

  • TRaUMATIC: Dalvi Humzah

  • HELP: Alison Sedgwick-Taylor

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A COSMETIC surgeon is warning people to be aware of the psychological effects of having work done, following the suicide of a man who went under the knife.

Retired civil servant Robert Loud, 66, took his own life after undergoing a procedure to remove bags under his eyes.

Mr Loud, who lived in Ratcliff Lawns, Southam, drowned in a frozen lake on Cheltenham Racecourse, after becoming increasingly angry at himself for going through with the surgery.

Dalvi Humzah, a consultant plastic surgeon at Nuffield Health hospital in Cheltenham, said patients considering a cosmetic procedure must understand the risk of psychiatric problems.

He said some patients spend their life savings on surgery and suffer guilt and regret.

Mr Humzah said Nuffield, which did not perform the procedure on Mr Loud, makes sure patients are aware of the dangers.

"Mental health issues after surgery are rare, but they do happen," he said.

"If someone has facial surgery, sometimes the brain can find it traumatic to look in the mirror and see a different face.

"It's similar to if you have a beard for a long time and then shave it all off.

"There can be a period of adjustment for people, and I or a member of my staff make people aware of this.

"We also contact people after their surgery to see how they are feeling and make sure they do not feel isolated."

Mr Humzah said he has refused to perform surgery on some people because he believed mental health issues were the reason for them desiring the procedure.

Alison Sedgwick-Taylor, consultant clinical psychologist at 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said patients should seek immediate help if depressed.

She said: "Depression can be triggered by a significant life event and like many other medical procedures, cosmetic surgery can be emotionally challenging.

"It's important to recognise any signs that you do not feel like yourself following a life event and to seek help early."

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