In a new European study announced Monday, researchers found that post-op, plastic surgery patients generally report a boost in self-confidence and enjoyment of life.
Researchers from Ruhr Universität and the University of Basel examined the psychological effects of plastic surgery on nearly 550 patients.
The researchers compared 544 first-time surgery patients with two other groups: 264 people who had previously wanted plastic surgery and then decided against it and 1,000 people from the general population who said they had never been interested in such operations.
Women represent 87 percent of all patients who opted for cosmetic surgery.
Researchers saw no significant difference among the groups in terms of life satisfaction and depressiveness.
According to the researchers, only 12 percent of the respondents who opted for plastic surgery expected it to do the impossible -- to solve their problems or to transform them into a new person. Prior research has found that negative mental outcomes are typically associated with people who have unreasonable expectations of what the surgery could achieve, reports the American Psychological Association.
In the latest study, the psychologists tested the patients before surgery, as well as three, six and 12 months afterwards. Compared to those who had chosen not to have plastic surgery, the patients who opted for surgery "felt healthier, were less anxious, had developed more self-esteem and found the operated body feature in particular, but also their body as a whole, more attractive," the researchers wrote. "No adverse effects were observed."
Results appear in the journal Clinical Psychological Science.