Study shows significant improvement in body image following cosmetic surgery

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The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation announced this week results of a new study that showed patients have significant and sustained improvements in body image after surgery.

The researchers found that patients were not only satisfied with their surgery, but experience a decrease in the frequency of negative body image emotions in specific social situations for as long as 12 months after surgery. The study was funded by a research grant from ASERF. Results of the study were published in the May/June issue of Aesthetic Surgery Journal (ASJ).

“Patients experience a significant and lasting improvement in appearance and body image following surgery,” said Dr. David B. Sarwer, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia .

Dr. Sarwer and colleagues studied patients from eight cosmetic surgery practices across the country before surgery and three, six, and 12 months after surgery. The researchers found that 87% of respondents reported satisfaction with postoperative outcomes. One year after surgery, 97% continued to report that they would recommend surgery to others and 93% indicated they would have the surgery again. Patients reported significant improvements in their overall appearance as well as in the feature altered by surgery. Furthermore, they also experienced a decrease in the frequency of negative body image emotions in specific social situations. All improvements were maintained 12 months post surgery.

“This study suggests that patients who invest their time and money in cosmetic procedures do experience lasting improvement in body image,” said Foad Nahai, MD, an investigator in the study. “Patients did not experience a worsening of depressive symptoms or have other negative emotional outcomes. This suggests, for example, that patients expecting to like their nose better after rhinoplasty, will likely be very satisfied.”

ASERF regularly funds original research and outcomes studies in the field of aesthetic plastic surgery. It is affiliated with the 2000+member American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) , the only plastic surgery organization devoted entirely to the advancement of cosmetic surgery. ASAPS is recognized throughout the world as the authoritative source for cosmetic surgery education. U.S. members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Canadian members are certified in by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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