While baby boomers make up most of the target market for plastic and cosmetic surgery, not all patients are satisfied with the results. The American Society of Plastic Surgery encourages patients to set up consultations with prospective surgeons and learn about the procedure so that they have realistic expectations about the results, and are more satisfied.
A recent study published in the May/June issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, reports that demand for cosmetic surgery has increased steadily over the past decade in the United States, approximately four times as much as a decade earlier.
Dr. Jill L. Hessler of Premier Plastic Surgery in Palo Alto conducted a study that surveyed 51 patients who underwent facial cosmetic surgery in 2007 and 2008.
The participants answered many questions for several months after their procedure, and the study results show that patients who were 53 and older were more satisfied with the their results than younger people. The study’s authors also point out that people who were being treated for depression were more likely to report being satisfied with their procedure, than those who were undergoing treatment for depression.
Dr. Hessler states, “Currently, there is an emphasis in the plastic and facial plastic surgery literature on surgical techniques to improve surgical results. A relative improvement in surgical outcomes, however, tends to be subjective and patient and/or surgeon satisfaction can be highly unpredictable.” (Source: BusinessWeek.com)
Since patient satisfaction can be highly subjective, it can be difficult for plastic surgeons to determine whether the outcome is a successful one. Still, plastic and cosmetic surgeons are responsible for educating the patients about the outcome and risks, and some use visual software programs that allow them to predict what the outcome will be. Patients are advised to take the time to learn as much as possible about their procedure, and consult with several plastic surgeons so that they can make the most informed decision.