How Do People Rate Their Plastic Surgery 5 Years Later? 92% Report Changes as Expected or Better In Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
By Mary Lee Peters MD | November 2, 2011
The majority of people that chose to have plastic surgery dislike some aspect of their appearance. The goal of cosmetic surgery is to feel more comfortable in your own body. How often is that goal met? The September 2011 edition of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (vol. 128.no.3.p765-772) published a prospective study examining patient satisfaction at six months and five years after their procedure.
Questionnaires were distributed prior to surgery that consisted of measures of satisfaction with appearance, self-esteem, psychological problems and patient’s evaluation of the outcome of surgery. The questions included well validated and widely used psychometric measures. The questionnaire was repeated at six months and five years. The same questionnaire was sent to a control group of 838 patients who were aged matched but had not had plastic surgery. The 130 patients included in this study had chosen, breast enlargements, breast lifts, liposuction, tummy tucks and eyelid operations. At five years:
92.2% of patients considered their appearance as good as they expected or better.
81.4 % were more satisfied with their overall appearance.
89.2% thought that the body part operated on had improved in appearance.
93.8% said they had no regrets about choosing plastic surgery.
89.9% said they would choose plastic surgery again if faced with the same circumstances.
Satisfaction with appearance was greatly improved. However, little or no improvement was seen in self-esteem and mental health. Other interesting observations of the study were that patients were most satisfied when they had taken a long time making their decision for surgery rather than acting impulsively. Patients were also more satisfied when doing the procedure for themselves rather than for the sake of a loved one. Those with psychological or self esteem issues before the surgery reported more negative changes in their psychosocial function postoperatively.
According to this evidence based study you might conclude that plastic surgery does not fix deep seated psychological issues, but it can make you feel a great deal better about your appearance.