The demand for cosmetic surgery among women has dramatically increased in recent years in the United States and beyond, raising some concern about why women are more heavily seeking cosmetic surgery. While physicians argue that the rise in demand for these procedures may reflect problems with respect to self-esteem and self-image, others suggest that the enhanced popularity of cosmetic surgery may simply be due to increased awareness and accessibility.
Regardless of the reasons that women are seeking cosmetic surgery at higher rates, it is important to understand what impact these procedures have on women. For example, if people with low self-esteem pursue cosmetic surgery procedures as a way to combat their low self-esteem, it is important that we understand whether the cosmetic surgery achieves the desired psychological benefits. This type of information can help guide clinical recommendations and ensure that patients are getting the appropriate care.
A new study, published in the World Journal of Plastic Surgery, sheds some light on this issue. Specifically, researchers investigated psychological impacts of cosmetic surgery on married women between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. The study included 80 participants who were tested on measures of sexual self-esteem, body image, and well-being both before undergoing cosmetic surgery and afterwards.
The researchers found that scores on all three psychological variables dramatically increased following cosmetic surgery. While the study did not investigate any objective measures related to the change in how the women looked, it showed that undergoing cosmetic surgery had a positive psychological impact on this set of women. More research aimed at understanding the interaction between cosmetic surgery and psychological well-being may help the medical community understand how best to enhance mental health amongst women and improve their overall satisfaction.
Khamseh, L.E. & Nodargahfard, M. (2020). The effects of cosmetic surgery on sexual self-esteem: Attitudes toward body image and well-being in married women. World J Plast Surg 9(2), 153-159.