Dr. Kirby's Blog

Does Plastic Surgery Make People Happy?

A recent European study published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science shows what many cosmetic surgery patients already know: plastic surgery increases satisfaction, self-esteem, and enjoyment of life in general.

The study, conducted by researchers at Ruhr Universität and the University of Basel, compared 544 recent first-time plastic surgery patients with two separate groups: those who previously considered plastic surgery but decided against it, and those who have never considered plastic surgery. Patients were questioned four times: before surgery, and then at three, six, and twelve months after surgery.

Results showed that the plastic surgery patients felt healthier, experienced less anxiety, had increased self-esteem, and felt better about their entire bodies as well as the area that was operated on. No adverse side effects were reported. These results suggest that patients who find satisfaction with cosmetic surgery experience psychological benefits as well.

The study also shows that having realistic goals is an important component in ensuring that plastic surgery brings happiness. Researchers identified patient goals using a process called “Goal Attainment Scaling” that included two questions that revealed unrealistic expectations, such as “All my problems will be solved.” Only 12% of the plastic surgery patients expressed these unrealistic goals for plastic surgery, revealing the importance of identifying and discussing goals with a plastic surgeon before the procedure takes place. Read more about the report here.

For those considering plastic surgery, the data is in. Can plastic surgery make you happy? Research indicates that it may.

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