Study Confirms Long Term Psychological Benefits of Plastic Surgery

Patients demonstrated improved enjoyment of life, satisfaction, and self-esteem. Plastic surgery has been touted for years as a means of improving self-esteem. Recently, a new study investigating the long term psychological effects of plastic surgery gave further support to this idea. The study, which was conducted by professors at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany and the University of Basel in Switzerland and reported in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, found that patients demonstrated improved enjoyment of life, satisfaction, and self-esteem after their cosmetic procedures.


The study focused on 544 first time cosmetic surgery patients, who were asked questions about their goals and feelings before surgery and again three, six, and 12 months after the surgery. Most patients felt they had achieved their goals in terms of improving their body image and were fully satisfied with the results of the surgery. The fact that most patients reported finding their body as a whole more attractive after enhancing only a single part or area was considered indicative of a rise in self-esteem.

In addition, when compared to individuals who had considered plastic surgery but ultimately opted against it, the 544 study subjects proved more likely to feel healthier, have less anxiety, and be more self-confident.


The study also investigated the question of what makes one person decided to get plastic surgery when another does not. In other words, is there some psychological difference between individuals who undergo plastic surgery and those who do not? The answer, the study found, is no. No significant differences in mental health, life satisfaction, or depressiveness were found between the individuals planning to undergo surgery and 1,000 average citizens with no interest in plastic surgery. This seems to indicate that getting plastic surgery is simply a personal choice and not something with a universal root psychological cause.


Researchers paid special attention to how patients think about plastic surgery, knowing that managing expectations is often key to satisfaction in any type of experience. Study participants were given a questionnaire about their goals and expectations, which included open questions as well as ten sample goals for plastic surgery. Out of all the patients, only 12 percent chose one of the two obviously unrealistic goals “All my problems will be solved” or “I’ll be a completely new person.” However, these patients did provide more realistic goals in the open questions, such as “feeling better,” and “improving self-confidence.”


If you are considering any kind of cosmetic surgery procedure, you should be happy to hear of the results of this study, which forecast a very positive psychological and emotional outcome for your procedure. Please do not hesitate to contact Mira Aesthetic Medical Center & Spa with any questions you may have or to schedule an initial appointment.

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