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Study Examines Factors That May Help Predict Whether Patients Will Be
Satisfied With Facial Plastic Surgery
May 18, 2010 - A study of patients undergoing elective facial plastic surgery
suggests that older patients and those currently being treated for depression
may be more likely to be satisfied with the results of their procedures, whereas
overall optimism and pessimism do not appear related to satisfaction with
surgical outcomes, according to a report in the May/June issue of Archives of
Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Almost 12 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2007, a more than
four-fold increase over the previous 10 years, according to background
information in the article. "Because more patients choose to undergo cosmetic
surgery, improvement of surgical outcomes becomes increasingly important," the
authors write. "Currently, there is an emphasis in the plastic and facial
plastic surgery literature on surgical techniques to improve surgical results. A
relative improvement in surgical outcomes, however, tends to be subjective and
patient and/or surgeon satisfaction can be highly unpredictable."
Jill L. Hessler, M.D., of Premier Plastic Surgery, Palo Alto, Calif., and
colleagues surveyed 51 patients at one facial cosmetic surgery center between
2007 and 2008. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire, a test to
evaluate optimism and pessimism and a surgical outcomes survey specific to their
type of procedure (for instance, facelift or nasal surgery). Four to six months
later, they again completed the optimism/pessimism and surgical outcomes
assessments. The four surgeons at the center were also asked to participate.
Patients who were older than the average age of 53 were more satisfied with
their surgical results than patients younger than the average age. This may
reflect more realistic expectations among older patients, the authors note.
In addition, those currently being treated for depression were more satisfied
than those who were not being treated for depression. No correlation was
identified between a patient's optimism or pessimism at the beginning of the
study and later satisfaction, nor did any other demographic factor assessed
predict later satisfaction.
Patients and physicians generally agreed with regard to satisfaction, although
surgeons tended to be less positive in their assessment of outcomes than were
"The ability to preoperatively identify patient characteristics (psychological,
social or demographic) that might impact the subjective perception of surgical
outcome and predict dissatisfaction with facial plastic surgery could be highly
useful to surgeons," the authors conclude. "Although preliminary, our
observations provide insight into these relationships and identify potential
associations, which establish a basis upon which future studies can be built. In
particular, it will be interesting to design larger scale studies to examine the
potential associations between perceived surgical outcomes and sex, education,
marital status, depression and/or inclination toward optimism/pessimism."
Facial Plast Surg. 2010;12:192-196.
Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery
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