Quality of life following aesthetic plastic surgery: a prospective study

J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2007;60(8):915-21. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2007.01.071. Epub 2007 Mar 26.


Background: The objective of this study was the prospective evaluation of quality of life in patients undergoing aesthetic plastic surgery procedures. We examined pre- and postoperative changes in quality of life, and performed a comparison of our data with a representative random sample.

Method: 228 patients agreed to participate in the present study. Measurements were taken preoperatively as well as 3 and 6 months postoperatively. One hundred and thirty two patients completed the three months postoperative evaluation (T1), 82 answered the 6 months follow-up evaluation (T2). The testing instrument included a standardised self-assessment test on satisfaction and quality of life (FLZ(M)), consisting of three modules: satisfaction with general life, health and appearance. Further, a postoperative complication questionnaire was used in order to evaluate the satisfaction with the surgical outcome and to estimate postoperative complications and side effects.

Results: Significantly increasing values in two aspects of quality of life were found: health and appearance. Whereas the positive influence on health is persistent, there is a diminishing influence of appearance 6 months postoperatively. Although higher values for some of the individual items of the FLZ(M) modules of the norm data were found in comparison to our study group, a general preoperative lower level of quality of life of the aesthetic surgery patients could not be confirmed. Over 84% were satisfied or very satisfied with the aesthetic result. 85% would undergo the same treatment again and 94% of the patients would further recommend their operation. More than half of the study group did not report a decrease in physical fitness or reduced social contacts in the direct postoperative period.

Conclusion: Our study reveals that aesthetic plastic surgery increases most aspects of quality of life, especially regarding body satisfaction and health. It is very well tolerated by the patients and is therefore a recommended option.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Image
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / psychology*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires