The Psychology Behind Cosmetic Surgery Decisions

Considering cosmetic surgery? An increasing number of women are opting for cosmetic surgery. In fact, in the last 10 years, cosmetic surgery increased by more than 700 percent.

A tummy tuck here. An eyebrow lift there. For women with realistic expectations, cosmetic surgery can enhance body satisfaction, says the July issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource. The key word is realistic. Women who are happy with their overall appearance but who seek cosmetic surgery to alter just one aspect of their body often find that cosmetic surgery meets their physical and emotional needs.

Body image dissatisfaction is often associated with decreased self-esteem, self-confidence and psychological well-being. These emotional and psychological issues cause some women to turn to cosmetic surgery. If women feel they need a new face, a thinner waistline or bigger breasts to be likable and to feel good about themselves, cosmetic surgery may not be the answer. In fact, some studies show that extensive cosmetic surgery may make psychological issues worse.

Before surgery, consider the emotional and psychological reasons for wanting cosmetic surgery and talk with your cosmetic surgery team to make sure it's right for you.


This is a highlight from the July 2005 issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource.