The Psychological Effects of Cosmetic Surgery
Plastic surgery is here to stay. For the last five years, there has been an upward trend in total procedures with a further projected increase in the coming years. Upon recovery, the results from aesthetic enhancement can be immediately seen and most patients are so happy with the results that they may even return for additional work. Even though the physical aspects are apparent, what about the psychological effects that come with having a cosmetic procedure? In 2005, a University of Florida study sought to answer that very question.
The research studied nearly 90 women between 21 and 57 years old and sought to gauge their perceptions of self-esteem both before and after cosmetic breast augmentation.
Eligible female study subjects were mailed a consent form, a questionnaire on demographics, and screening questions asking them to rate their self-esteem before the procedure. Two to three months after the operation, they were mailed a post-surgical questionnaire. The results showed a direct correlation between the breast augmentation and self-esteem. Furthermore, women also reported higher levels of sexual satisfaction following the surgery. The study used two widely-accepted scientific scales to measure self-esteem. These scales measure aspects of several dimensions, including sexual arousal, satisfaction, and attitudes.
The average self-esteem scores following the augmentation surgery showed an increase from a rounded score of twenty-one up to twenty-five out of thirty on a self-esteem scale. Furthermore, the average score based on the second scale, used to measure sexual function, increased from a rounded twenty-seven up to a thirty-one on a thirty-six-point index. One of the more interesting metrics was that women reported a substantial increase of sexual desire. In fact, the average increase was by nearly seventy-nine percent across all categories. While a small percentage of study subjects did not experience a self-image change, an overwhelming number of women did.
This along with many other studies have shown that plastic surgery, from Florida to Newport Beach, California, can have drastic and positive psychological benefits to female patients.