The Role of Plastic Surgery in Boosting Self-Esteem

Myriad reasons could tempt one to go under the knife. It could be to correct a damaged body part, improve one’s appearance, get away from unwanted fat, or eliminate the sagging skin that indicates growing age. In any case, plastic surgery has proved highly effective in ensuring positive results. While it enables them to live up to societal standards, it also makes them look younger and feel better about themselves. This in turn develops self-confidence and boosts the mood like never before. Studies from renowned science centers also echo the same thought.

The origin

The word “plastic” originated from “plastikos”, an ancient Greek word, meaning to give form or mold. Abiding by the definition, plastic surgery refers to:

  • Improving the aesthetic looks of a person
  • Repairing the deformities arising on one’s body and facial tissues caused due to some injury, a congenital defect, or health condition.

Considering the importance of physical appearance in daily life, these enhancements can also result in the psychological and emotional well-being of the patients. Surgeons believe that plastic surgery has improved the lives and functionality of people appreciably. Despite a little bit of risks, people find these procedures worth undergoing. They believe these surgeries to have an encouraging influence on their aesthetic appeal, emotional health, self-confidence, and self-esteem. The result reports below also reveal the same fact.

The Psychological research findings

A research report published in the Clinical Psychological Science journal included the findings from the world’s largest study on the psychological effects of plastic surgery. The research included:

  • 544 patients who underwent plastic surgery for the first time.
  • 264 people who opted out of plastic surgery after deciding to go for it
  • Around 1000 respondents who never expressed interest in a plastic surgery procedure

Among the patients opting for plastic surgery, 87% were women. Most of the young patients with more than average incomes desired to go under the knife for aesthetic reasons. Respondents in all three groups were the same in terms of mental health, satisfaction with life, and depressiveness.

Top goals of the patients 

The researchers used the “Goal Attainment Scaling” instrument to assess the goal of the patients with plastic surgery.
12% of the respondents expressed unrealistic goals:

  • All my problems will be solved
  • “I’ll be a completely new person

Most of the other patients expressed their desire to:

  • Develop enhanced self-confidence
  • Eliminate blemishes, and
  • Feel better


The results obtained

The psychologists examined the respondents at regular intervals of three months up to one year. It helped them to find out the long-term improvements in their psychological variables after undergoing cosmetic surgery. The results observed were as follows:

  • The participants confirmed attaining the goals they wished for
  • None observed any ill effects after the surgery
  • As compared to others who opted out of plastic surgery, the patients:
  • Felt satisfied with the surgery results in the long-term
  • Appeared more self-confident, healthier, and less anxious
  • Found their body more attractive, specifically the operated body part

Overall, the researchers considered plastic surgery as a high-level success in terms of boosting the psychological characteristics of the patients.

The rising number of plastic surgery procedures worldwide

The numbers obtained from the annual Global Survey done by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) in 2023 also indicated a significant surge in the number of plastic surgeries carried out across the globe. The effectual boost in self-esteem could be one of the primary reasons behind this unprecedented rise in the number of people opting for cosmetic surgery.

  • The report revealed a staggering 41.3% spike in aesthetic surgery over the past four years.
  • As compared to 2022, the number of surgery procedures reported by surgeons grew by 11.2%.
  • Liposuction was the most common surgery with 2.3 million procedures carried out in 2022 alone
  • This was a 21.1% increase as compared to Liposuction procedures done in 2021
  • The top five plastic surgery procedures in 2022 were – Liposuction, Breast Augmentation, Eyelid Surgery, Abdominoplasty and Breast Lift
  • Among women, Breast Augmentation with 2.2 million surgeries remained the most popular plastic surgery procedure
  • The surgeons carried out 4.4 million breast procedures on women, a 25% rise as compared to 2021
  • Buttock Augmentations with 820,762 procedures reported the maximum increase of 56.8% in surgical procedures
  • Instances of body and extremities surgeries witnessed a rise of 25.3%
  • Head and face procedures remained the most popular procedures with a 4.3% increase
  • Patients in the age group 18-34 were the prime candidates for Breast Augmentation and Rhinoplasty surgeries

The report shows an 11.2% overall increase in procedures performed by plastic surgeons in 2022 with more than 14.9 million surgical and 18.8 million non-surgical procedures performed worldwide.

What should be your expectations?

Indeed, plastic surgery entails too many positive outcomes, which encourages people in large numbers to opt for these procedures and improve their aesthetic appeal worldwide. Extreme care is essential in the selection of the right plastic surgery and the setup where you are about to undergo the surgery. Still, you cannot rule out the possibility of adverse results.

To make sure that you do not suffer a major heartbreak after seeing the surgery outcomes, you need to have realistic expectations with the surgery. The following points will be helpful to consider in this regard:
Perfection is a myth: Even the best doctors with adept expertise and experience cannot guarantee 100% of the expected results.

Symmetry is impossible: Despite honest attempts by surgeons to make your asymmetric breasts, ears, eyes, or other parts similar, they may find it hard to deliver the exact matches.

Results do not surface overnight: You should bear patience during the recovery time after the surgery. It takes months for the surgery procedures to deliver the outcome.

Some procedures might not suit you: Even if you are eager to undergo a plastic surgery procedure, the doctor may not recommend it due to your existing body condition.

Do not expect permanence: Even permanent surgery results may wither due to changes in the body with time. Your expectations should therefore be reasonable.

Surgery is risk-prone: Make sure to discuss with your doctor the risks and side effects associated with the surgery. After examining your body, the surgeon can suggest you better if your body is ready to bear the risks of the surgery.

Wrapping up!

Plastic surgery is on the rise, with the number of patients opting for various procedures only increasing over the years. A big reason behind this surge could be the boost in self-esteem and the surgeons have pointed to the same reason in their research reports. The choice of the surgeon and the clinic hold a major say in inflicting positive results.

Nevertheless, despite the multiple benefits of cosmetic procedures, the success of surgery depends on one’s body. Therefore, it would be better to have realistic expectations with the surgeons. A direct interaction with the surgeon would be good to find out if your body is ready for the surgery.

Dr. Sumit Malhotra is the best cosmetic plastic surgeon in Lucknow and is famous for his exceptional techniques used in treating his patients. With 19+ years of experience, Dr. Sumit Malhotra fully understands the human body and applies the appropriate technology needed to treat the patient’s body parts according to their desires. Dr. Sumit Malhotra currently practices in SIPS, Superspeciality Hospital, Lucknow where he has been operating since 2005.

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