Recognition of motivational factors behind the decision to seek cosmetic surgery is important in terms of improved aesthetical and psychological outcomes after cosmetic surgery. Our objective was to evaluate women’s perspectives and experience of cosmetic surgery in a general population of women with and without previous cosmetic surgery.
A total of 500 women (aged > 18 years) with (n = 250) and without (n = 250) previous cosmetic surgery were included on a voluntary basis in this questionnaire survey. The questionnaire form was applied via face-to-face method and elicited items on sociodemographic characteristics, women’s perspective of cosmetic surgery and experience of cosmetic surgery.
Cosmetic surgery is considered to be performed whenever needed by most of women (58.6%), while considered to be performed only if mandatory or health-related (23.4%) or to improve quality of life (13.2%) by those aged > 35 years. The cosmetic surgery experience was highest in the 35–44 years age group (60.4%), and based on self-decision in 76.3% of cases. Physicians/hospitals (44.4%) were the most commonly searched item (via Internet search in 46.5%) before the decision of having a cosmetic surgery. Overall majority (84.6%) of women identified that they were satisfied with the postoperative outcome.
In conclusion, our findings revealed that cosmetic surgery was considered to be likely performed whenever the person needs without consideration of an age limit by most of women, while undergoing a cosmetic surgery was based on self-decision after following an Internet search mainly for physician/hospital options by majority of women with previous cosmetic surgery.
Level of evidence: Level V, diagnostic; therapeutic study.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
American Society of Plastic Surgeons (2011). National clearinghouse of plastic surgery statistics. Retrieved from. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/news-and-resources/2011-statistics-.html
British Association of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgeons (2010). Despite recession 36,482 aesthetic surgery procedures took place in the UK. Retrieved from. http://www.baaps.org.uk/about-us/press-releases/584-britons-over-the-male-breast-reduction-nearly-doubles-in-2009
Hackworth S (2012) ISAPS international survey on aesthetic/cosmetic procedures performed in 2011. International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Hanover, NH
Luo W (2013) Aching for the altered body: beauty economy and Chinese women’s consumption of cosmetic surgery. Women Stud Int Forum 38:1–10
Markey CN, Markey PM (2010) A correlational and experimental examination of reality television viewing and interest in cosmetic surgery. Body Image 7:165–171
Ching BH, Xu JT (2019) Understanding cosmetic surgery consideration in Chinese adolescent girls: contributions of materialism and sexual objectification. Body Image 28:6–15
American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (2013). 2013 ASAPS statistics: Complete charts. Retrieved from http://www.surgery.org/sites/default/files/Stats2013 3.pdf
American Society of Plastic Surgeons (2016). 2016 Plastic surgery statistic report. Retrieved from https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2016/ plastic-surgery-statistics-full-report-2016.pdf
Sarwer DB, Crerand CE (2004) Body image and cosmetic medical treatments. Body Image 1:99–111
American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 2016 cosmetic surgery gender distribution [Internet]. Available from: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics /2016/cosmetic-procedures-women-2016.pdf
Solvi AS, Foss K, von Soest T, Roald HE, Skolleborg KC, Holte A (2010) Motivational factors and psychological processes in cosmetic breast augmentation surgery. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg 63:673–678
Haas CF, Champion A, Secor D (2008) Motivating factors for seeking cosmetic surgery: a synthesis of the literature. Plast Surg Nurs 28:177–182
American Society of Plastic Surgeons (2018). National clearinghouse of plastic surgery procedural statistics-2017. Retrieved from. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Documents/news-resources/statistics/2014-statistics/cosmetic-procedure-trends-2014.pdf
Sarwer DB (2018) Discussion: the public face of rhinoplasty: impact on perceived attractiveness and personality. Plast Reconst Surg 142:888–889
Tranter B, Hanson D (2015) The social bases of cosmetic surgery in Australia. J Sociol 51:189–206
Molina A, Baker R, Nduka C (2012) ‘What women want’—the UK’s largest cosmetic surgery survey. Eur J Plast Surg 3:607–612
Al-Saiari AA, Bakarman MA (2015) Experiences and attitude among Saudi female university students towards cosmetic surgery. J Taibah Univ Med Sci 10:427–431
Swami V, Chamorro-Premuzic T, Bridges S, Furnham A (2009) Acceptance of cosmetic surgery: personality and individual difference predictors. Body Image 6:7–13
Sarwer DB. Body image, cosmetic surgery, and minimally invasive treatments. Body Image. 2019 Jan 28. pii: S1740–1445(18)30555–2. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2019.01.009. [Epub ahead of print]
Mori S, Lee EH (2018) Beyond the physician’s perspective: a review of patient-reported outcomes in dermatologic surgery and cosmetic dermatology. Int J Womens Dermatol 5:21–26
Lunde C (2013) Acceptance of cosmetic surgery, body appreciation, body ideal internalization, and fashion blog reading among late adolescents in Sweden. Body Image 10:632–635
Myers TA, Crowther JH (2009) Social comparison as a predictor of body dissatisfaction: a meta-analytic review. J Abnorm Psychol 118:683–698
Schofield M, Hussain R, Loxton D, Miller Z (2002) Psychological and health behavioural covariates of cosmetic surgery. J Health Psychol 7:445–457
Ozgur F, Tuncali D, Gursu G (1998) Life satisfaction, self-esteem, and body image. Aesthet Plast Surg 22:412–419
Ching S, Thoma A, McCabe R, Antony M (2003) Measuring outcomes in aesthetic surgery. Plast Reconstr Surg 111:468–480
Hurst RAJ (2012) Negotiating femininity with and through mother–daughter and patient–surgeon relationships in cosmetic surgery narratives. Women Stud Int Forum 35:447–457
Hennink-Kaminski H, Reid LN, King KW (2010) The content of cosmetic surgery advertisements placed in large city magazines, 1985–2004. J Curr Issues Res Adv 32:41–57
Delinsky SS (2005) Cosmetic surgery: a common and accepted form of self improvement? J Appl Soc Psychol 35:2012–2028
Brown A, Furnham A, Glanville L, Swami V (2007) Factors that affect the likelihood of undergoing cosmetic surgery. Aesthet Surg J 27:501–508
Furnham A, Levitas J. Factors that motivate people to undergo cosmetic surgery. Can J Plast Surg. 2012 Winter;20(4):e47–50
Sharp G, Tiggemann M, Mattiske J (2014) The role of media and peer influences in Australian women’s attitudes towards cosmetic surgery. Body Image 11:482–487
Rufai SR, Davis CR (2014) Aesthetic surgery and Google: ubiquitous, unregulated and enticing websites for patients considering cosmetic surgery. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg 67:640–643
Awal DH, Mills C (2018) Cosmetic facial surgery: are online resources reliable and do patients understand them? Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg 56:124–128
Menon AV (2017) Do online reviews diminish physician authority? The case of cosmetic surgery in the U.S. Soc Sci Med 181:1–8
Jeacle I, Carter C (2011) In TripAdvisor we trust: rankings, calculative regimes and abstract systems. Account Organ Soc 36:293–309
Orlikowski WJ, Scott SV (2014) What happens when evaluation goes online? Exploring apparatuses of valuation in the travel sector. Organ Sci 25:8688–8891
Zuk G, Palma AF, Eylert G, Raptis DA, Guggenheim M, Shafighi M (2016) Systematic review of quality of patient information on liposuction in the Internet. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open 4:e759
Bates BR, Romina S, Ahmed R, Hopson D (2006) The effect of source credibility on consumers’ perceptions of the quality of health information on the Internet. Med Inform Internet Med 31:45–52
Thanks to “İzlem Araştırma Şirketi” for the contribution to my work.
Conflict of interest
Ayhan Okumuş declares that he has no conflict of interest.
No ethical approval required.
All participants were informed about the survey. A questionnaire was conducted with the people who accepted the interview.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Okumuş, A. A qualitative assessment of women’s perspectives and experience of cosmetic surgery. Eur J Plast Surg (2020) doi:10.1007/s00238-020-01623-1
- Cosmetic surgery
- Women’s perspective
- Source of information