Is Happiness a Possible Side Effect of Plastic Surgery?

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For some, it can be hard to understand why others choose to go under the knife. And although most cosmetic procedures are safe and routine when performed by a board-certified surgeon, there is often downtime, pain and risks involved. 

However, according to a new study published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, researchers found that many who undergo surgery for aesthetic reasons often experience positive change both on the inside and the out.        

Throughout the study, the world's largest of its kind, 550 patients first underwent questioning using what is known as "Goal Attainment Scaling." When posed with several choices as to what they hoped to achieve post-surgery, most respondents expressed wishes to "feel better", "eliminate blemishes" and "develop more self-confidence." Only a small 12 percent specified unrealistic standard goals. 

By examining the psychological effects of plastic surgery post-procedure, researchers found patients feeling less anxious, healthier and more self-assured compared to those who once considered cosmetic surgery but ultimately decided against it. Additionally, not only did patients find their altered body part more attractive, they also felt more confident from head to toe. 

While those seriously considering cosmetic surgery are often faced with a scary decision, it's helpful to know the results may have more benefits than anticipated. Just be sure to consult with a board certified physician, or several, before deciding on any procedure.