Now there’s proof: cosmetic treatments can improve a patient’s quality of life

coupleAs a plastic surgeon, my clinical focus is on optimizing technical outcome and minimizing side effects. For my patients, this translates to aesthetically pleasing, natural-looking results, a safe surgery, and smooth recovery. However, my personal focus has always been on helping patients feel better about the way they look. After their procedures, my patients consistently report how their lives have improved in other ways.

In recent years, a number of studies have evaluated the effects of aesthetic intervention on patients’ quality of life. By and large, the results of these studies reaffirm the life-enhancing benefits of cosmetic surgery.

How do we define “Quality of Life”?

Quality of life measures for those who undergo cosmetic procedures involve a multidimensional assessment of each patient’s physical, social, psychological and emotional wellbeing. Factors such as self-esteem, relationships, confidence, and acceptance by others all contribute to this assessment.

Here are just a few such studies highlighting the positive effects of cosmetic surgery for patients with respect to these quality of life measures:

  • A study of 110 patients undergoing breast reduction surgery identified substantial improvement between pre- and postoperative scores in physical and social function as well as mental and general health.
  • A study of a 105 patients undergoing elective cosmetic surgery found significant quality of life improvements six months after surgery when compared to baseline measurements. Patients reported positive changes in their social and sex life, leisure activities, and friendships as well as improvements in depression.
  •  A multicenter study found measures for social anxiety improved after facial cosmetic surgery, but measures of depression and inhibitory thoughts did not change following surgery.

Other studies have found that patients experience an improved sense of health & well-being and greater satisfaction with their appearances following cosmetic surgery. In addition, patients report freedom from anxiety and pain and greater sense of independence in daily life.

While it’s useful to have a body of evidence that aesthetic procedures have real, life-enhancing benefits, there is no substitute for seeing such improvements in my own patients. I feel honored to be a part of their journey to enhance their appearance and their lives.

If you’re considering having cosmetic surgery to achieve your personal goals, I encourage you to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options. My colleagues and I at La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre would be happy to meet with you and answer any questions you may have. Feel free to contact our office to schedule a consultation.