A long-term study in 2013 investigated the psychological effects of plastic surgery on approximately 550 patients.
Researchers from Ruhr-University Bochum, in cooperation with colleagues from the University of Basel, discovered patients reported more enjoyment of life, satisfaction and self-esteem after their physical appearance had been surgically altered.
One group was looked at to see if it was systematically different from two comparison groups in the study: 264 people who had wanted plastic surgery and then decided against it and 1,000 members of the general public who had never been interested in having plastic surgery.
The study looked at the goals patients had set themselves before their operations and whether or not these were accomplished. The researchers discovered that, on average, patients who had undergone their surgery reported more enjoyment and higher levels of self-esteem after having their procedure. Psychologists tested the patients before they had their surgery, three months after their surgery and again six months and 12 months later.
In terms of psychological and health variables, investigators found that there was no significant differences amongst the three groups.
Psychology Today highlighted another study which looked into whether plastic surgery improves psychological well-being.
It identified that unrealistic goals for the outcome of surgery could cause disappointment and unhappiness. This study broke down the cosmetic surgeries by type and found that those who underwent breast augmentations and reductions had a more positive emotional outcome compared to those who chose to undergo a Rhinoplasty or face lift.
So then can cosmetic surgery ever be the answer? The jury is still out