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The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation

A prospective, multi-site investigation of patient satisfaction and psychosocial status following cosmetic surgery Print

David B. Sarwer,MD, Lauren M. Gibbons,MD, Leanne Magee,MD, James L. Baker,MD, Laurie A. Casas,MD, Paul M. Glat,MD, Alan H. Gold,MD, Mark L. Jewell,MD, Don LaRossa,MD, Foad Nahai,MD, V. Leroy Young, MD
Aesthetic Surgery Journal
May 2005 (Vol. 25, Issue 3, Pages 263-269)


Although several studies have investigated patient satisfaction and changes in body image following aesthetic plastic surgery, few have investigated more specific dimensions of body image, including dysphoric emotions that occur in specific social situations or body image quality of life. In addition, few studies have investigated changes in body image that may occur in concert with changes in more general areas of psychosocial functioning, such as depressive symptoms and self-esteem.


This prospective, multi-site study investigated postoperative satisfaction and changes in psychosocial status following cosmetic surgery.


One hundred patients recruited from 8 geographically diverse surgical practices completed psychometric measures of body image, depressive symptoms, and self-esteem prior to surgery. Seventy-two patients completed the 3-month postoperative assessment, 67 completed the 6-month assessment, and 63 completed the 12-month assessment. All statistical tests on changes after surgery were conducted using the sample of 72 patients who completed the 3-month assessment. A Last Observation Carried Forward analysis was used to account for patients who did not complete the subsequent follow-up assessments. In addition, they reported their postoperative satisfaction as well as self-rated attractiveness at the 3 postoperative assessment points.


Eighty-seven percent of patients reported satisfaction with their postoperative outcomes. Patients also reported significant improvements in their overall appearance, as well as the appearance of the feature altered by surgery, at each of the postoperative assessment points. Patients experienced significant improvements in their overall body image, their degree of dissatisfaction with the feature altered by surgery, and the frequency of negative body image emotions in specific social situations. All of these improvements were maintained 12 months after surgery.


These results add to a growing body of literature documenting improvements in body image following cosmetic surgery.

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