Quality-of-Life Outcomes after Cosmetic Surgery

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Abstract

Cosmetic surgery is an increasingly common medical procedure whose benefits to patients have not been quantified objectively. The purpose of this study was to prospectively examine long-term quality-of-life outcomes for patients undergoing elective cosmetic surgery.

In this prospective, correlational study of 105 consecutive patients undergoing elective cosmetic surgery, the parameters of quality-of-life index, depression, social support, and coping were determined preoperatively and at 1- and 6-month intervals postoperatively. The data from the four study instruments were analyzed using Pearson correlation and repeated measures of multivariate analysis of variance for differences in each variable over time.

The multivariate analysis of variance quality-of-life index scores for patients improved from baseline preoperative mean levels of 3.24 to a mean of 2.56 at 1 month, and then to 2.11 (f = 518.5, p = < 0.0001) at 6 months postsurgery. Mean scores for depression [determined by using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D)], improved from 11.2 preoperatively to 6.5 at 1 month, and to 6.3 (f = 79.3, p = < .0001) at 6 months after surgery. Surgical intervention produced no significant differences between preoperative and postoperative ways of coping and social support scores.

Cosmetic surgery produces positive psychological benefits by significantly improving quality-of-life outcomes that persist long term, without adversely affecting social support and ways of coping. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 102: 2139, 1998.)

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