Aesthetic surgery and psychological well-being

Aesthetic surgery and psychological well-being

What emotional state does one have following cosmetic surgery? Let's answer this and other questions so that we know the mental challenges of such a choice.

Aesthetic surgery and psychological well-being

Last update: June 17, 2022

Since childhood we are told that beauty is internal, as it depends on a person's values ​​and beliefs. We also consider the care of physical appearance superficial and we judge harshly those who decide to modify their body. However, our appearance largely determines how we feel and how we relate to each other; because of this it is interesting to know the impact of cosmetic surgery on psychological well-being.



It is estimated that over 25 million people worldwide undergo cosmetic surgery or treatments every year. And this trend has increased in recent times.

However, far from being a matter of vanity, these procedures can lead to a significant improvement in the patient's quality of life.

The importance of the physical aspect

People who consider themselves less attractive than average often have low self-esteem.

Worrying about your image is not a superficial or vain attitude. It is natural for everyone to pay attention to their appearance and strive to make it pleasant.

We keep in mind that we are social beings by nature, we need to be accepted and our appearance is the business card in the world.

How others perceive us affects the opportunities we will have to build relationships, find a job or be successful in various areas of life. Fortunately or unfortunate, if our appearance is not socially desirable, on many occasions we will not even be allowed to show our personality.

However, the impact does not come only from the reaction we provoke in others, but above all from the image we have of ourselves.



Some research indicates that those who consider themselves less attractive than average also tend to have low self-esteem, have difficulty establishing interpersonal relationships and experience more unpleasant emotions such as embarrassment, sadness, irritation or anxiety.

In short, psychological well-being is influenced by self-perception; and if this is negative, the emotional, social and personal level will be affected.

How cosmetic surgery affects psychological well-being

Thanks to medical and technological advances, today it is possible to change almost every aspect of a person's body. The signs of aging can be stopped and we can correct all kinds of imperfections.

This allows us to get rid of our complexes and increase self-esteem. In theory, this should have a positive effect on our mood. Yet, this is not always the case.

Some studies have analyzed the impact of cosmetic surgery on psychological well-being, noting that there are no significant differences in terms of well-being between those who have undergone an aesthetic treatment and those who are about to undergo it.

The modest increase in well-being and satisfaction is seen only in the short term, but the effects are not long lasting.

This may be due to the phenomenon known as hedonistic adaptation so we quickly get used to situations that give pleasure and they stop having an impact on our well-being.

This happens, for example, when you find a partner, get a promotion or win the lottery. And it can also happen following an aesthetic treatment.

On the other hand, the cosmetic surgery helps to adapt one's appearance to the established standards, therefore to be socially accepted. This effect would be expected to have a major impact on personal well-being, but again this is not always the case.



Research reveals that those judged to be more attractive did not necessarily enjoy greater wealth. Conversely, those who considered themselves more attractive were happier.


And this seems to be the crux of the matter: it is not our objective aspect that determines our happiness nor the way in which others see us, it is the vision we have of ourselves that is decisive.

Cosmetic surgery can help overcome some complexes.

Approach aesthetic treatments with caution and measure

We can deduce that the impact of cosmetic surgery on psychological well-being it can be positive as long as it helps improve the person's self-image. In other words, when it comes to a highly desired aesthetic treatment aimed at solving a complex source of discomfort and suffering.

However, we cannot ignore the risks of these interventions, which can turn into a real addiction without achieving the complete well-being expected and desired. We cannot rely on our worth and self-esteem solely on the physical.


Emotional well-being is a personal and profound dimension that must be addressed responsibly. No surgery will be able to solve emotional deficiencies.

In light of this, before undergoing any cosmetic surgery, both the patient and the professionals must analyze the underlying motivations. Increased self-esteem can be achieved which has a positive impact on well-being and relationships, but it should not be taken lightly.

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