How Plastic Surgery Affects Self-Esteem

There are multiple reasons people seek out plastic surgery procedures. As such, there are myriad different procedures available from butt lifts to rhinoplasty to breast augmentation.

While there are those who think plastic surgery is something only the most vain among us engage in, there is something to be said for how plastic surgery affects self-esteem.

Patients who seek plastic surgery often feel self-conscious about certain aspects of their physical appearance that stand out and don’t fall in line with their personalities. If such features are very pronounced or draw negative attention, they can have deep emotional consequences.

Plastic Surgery Affects Self-Esteem

And for the better!

Studies show that the vast majority of patients are satisfied with the results of plastic surgery. However, it’s crucial that patients go in with realistic expectations. When approaching their procedure from this mindset, they not only notice improved self-esteem, but improved body image which adds to their quality of life.

And because they feel better about themselves, many report feeling less shy and more confident in how they deal with relationships at both work and at home.

Of course, not all surgeries are equal. Generally speaking, the more impactful the surgery, the bigger difference it’ll make. For example, patients who have rhinoplasty or breast augmentation procedures are likely to report a bigger boost in self-esteem than those who have more restorative procedures such as a facelift or Botox.

Even so, although such procedures have more subtle results, that doesn’t mean there is no noticeable difference in self-esteem. It’s just often commensurate with how much of a change occurs as a result of the procedure.

What the Studies Further Say

Studies have shown that people report increased satisfaction with body image after the procedure, with many reporting that plastic surgery boosts their quality of life and self-confidence in the long term.

In fact, when David Sarwer, PhD was an Associate Professor of Psychology at the Center for Human Appearance at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 2005, he found that 87% of patients reported satisfaction with their overall body image (and especially with the body part that was altered) a year after receiving plastic surgery. They also noted feeling less negative about their body image in social situations. The study was supported by the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation.

These days, Dr. Sarwer is Associate Dean for Research and Director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at the College of Public Health at Temple University. He maintains an active program of research on the psychological aspects of physical appearance.

With the ever increasing popularity of plastic surgery procedures, his findings have prompted him to question whether more psychologists will begin to examine the link between improving appearance as a means to address psychiatric disorders such as eating disorders, social phobia and sexual functioning.

“Scientifically, we’re just starting to catch up to the popularity of [plastic surgery] in the population,” he says. Whatever the case, it seems clear that plastic surgery is so much more than plumping lips and shrinking bellies. With its positive impact on self-esteem, it could just have far-reaching psychological benefits as well.

And that’s saying a lot.

Could You Use a Boost in Self-Esteem?

If there’s some aspect of your physical appearance that leaves you feeling overly self-conscious and is zapping your confidence, why struggle with these emotional consequences?

It’s obvious that plastic surgery affects self-esteem in a really positive way. So contact us today for a free consultation to discuss the area(s) you’d like to target.

It could be the difference between simply living, and living your fullest and happiest life.