Patients' health related quality of life before and after aesthetic surgery

Br J Plast Surg. 1996 Oct;49(7):433-8. doi: 10.1016/s0007-1226(96)90025-9.


Objectives: To assess the health related quality of life of patients before and after aesthetic surgery.

Design: A survey by questionnaire of patients before receiving surgery and 6 months after surgery.

Sample: 656 patients anticipating surgery were sent a preoperative questionnaire, to which 443 replied. Subsequently 259 of these received a postoperative questionnaire, of which 198 were returned.

Outcome measures: Health status was assessed using three standardised health status instruments (The Short Form 36 Health Survey Questionnaire (SF-36), the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) and the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale. Comparisons were made between the health status of the plastic surgery patients and that of a random sample of the general population.

Results: Patients receiving breast reduction surgery experienced significant improvements on all three health status measures. Patients in all surgical groups experienced significant improvements in self-esteem.

Conclusions: Patients receiving aesthetic surgery experience a wide range of physical, psychological and social problems. Surgery was shown be effective at addressing these problems. Health status assessment provides a valid and independent method for measuring the effects of such health care interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / surgery
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ear, External / surgery
  • Esthetics*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mammaplasty / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Period
  • Quality of Life*
  • Rhinoplasty / psychology
  • Self Concept
  • Surgery, Plastic / psychology*
  • Treatment Outcome