Can Plastic Surgery Make You A Happier Person?

Written by WD Staff, Skin Care Specialists on January 10, 2014 12 Comments

plastic surgery and happiness

Many prospective patients believe undergoing plastic surgery will increase their overall quality of life. We in fact do see many patients gain confidence and self-esteem following surgery. Now there is scientific evidence to shed light on the relationship between happiness and cosmetic surgery.

Researchers from two European Universities recently released a study that looked at the positive long-term effects of plastic surgery. Specifically, the study conducted by Margraf, Meyer and Lavallee focused on the question: Do cosmetic interventions (plastic surgery) increase the quality of life of those who undergo procedures? The researchers looked at various common facial plastic surgery procedures including rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, and facelifts.

The results show that plastic surgery patients say they feel better about themselves after surgery. This boost in self-confidence and positive body image in turn equips the patient to enjoy a better quality of life.

A Closer Look at the Margraf, Meyer and Lavallee Study

The researchers included three groups of people in the study:

  • 544 people who were having cosmetic surgery for the first time, 87% of which were women.
  • 264 people who had previously wanted to undergo plastic surgery, but decided not to go ahead with it.
  • 1,000 people who stated they had never considered a cosmetic surgery procedure.

Research subjects were questioned on their health and well-being before and after their procedure. The results supported increased happiness post-surgery. Compared to those who had chosen not to go ahead with plastic surgery, the patients who did undergo operations “felt healthier, were less anxious, had developed more self-esteem, and found their body, as a whole, more attractive”. The researchers also noted “no adverse effects were observed” from the subjects who underwent procedures.

Findings Supported By Earlier Studies

The findings of this latest European report are supported by earlier studies.

In 2008, Dr. Neil S. Sadick of Cornell University completed a study on the effects of both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic interventions.

Some highlights of his work include:

  • In a study of 110 patients who underwent breast lift surgery, 95% of those patients experienced an improvement in physical and psychological health and their well-being greatly improved after the surgery.
  • In a study of 105 patients who underwent various elective cosmetic surgeries, many reported huge improvements to their overall life six months after their surgery. These improvements include positive changes to patients’ sex life, social life, and relationships.
  • A separate study found the vast majority of facial cosmetic surgery patients reported improvements in general health, satisfaction with their appearance, independence, and a drop in anxiety.

Cosmetic Surgery Can Improve Your Well-being

According to research, people feel vastly better about the way they look and feel after choosing to undergo a cosmetic surgery procedure. The research supports what we hear from many of our own patients each day. Our team of plastic surgeons, dermatologists, aestheticians and staff are focused on helping men and women gain the confidence in their appearance needed to live a better life and improve their overall well-being.

WD Staff

A united group of skin care specialists from Westlake Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, Austin's leader in Dermatology and Plastic Surgery. Articles posted under WD staff are authored through combined contributions from our entire team, including Plastic Surgeons, Dermatologists, Aestheticians, Physician Assistants, Aesthetic Nurses, and Patient Coordinators.

12 Responses to “Can Plastic Surgery Make You A Happier Person?”

  1. Avatar Grace says:

    I wondering if the results of the study would change overtime. That is will these individuals still say they are happier after the surgery 10 or 15 years from now? Seems kind of obvious that they would be happy right after the procedure as its in the moment of desire.

  2. Avatar Peggy D. says:

    Yes, I think so. I have friends and relatives who have undergone some kind of cosmetic surgery services in their life and they are all happy. It’s more like a psychological effect. When you start looking different( for better) you will get more confident. Many people come out of their shell and starts mingling more freely with people.

  3. Avatar Darrick says:

    I really like and appreciate your blog post.Really thank you!

  4. Avatar Jessica says:

    I can attest that I’ve felt happier (and all around better) following my procedure (mommy makeover including tummy tuck and breast lift)!!!!!!

  5. Avatar Leslie says:

    I can see how plastic surgery can increase happiness in a person. I would think most people turn to surgery since they are unahppy with part of their appearance. So if they address that issue i image it would improve.

  6. Avatar Aldo says:

    Just a short question: can plastic surgery give a “normal” or “pleasant” appearance to a person who is physically “unattractive” (who has significant “physical abnormalities”)?

    I’m not talking about giving everyone the possibility to look like Brad Pitt, but to help those who have an appearance that hinders their daily life.

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Aldo,

      Cosmetic surgery can address major aesthetic issues. The results possible, however, will depend on many variables. As always, we encourage anyone considering plastic surgery to visit a board certified provider to learn what surgery can (and can’t) provide.

      We hope that helps!

      WD Staff

  7. Avatar Aldo says:

    Thanks for your help!


Leave a Reply