A qualitative assessment of women’s perspectives and experience of cosmetic surgery

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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.

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Thanks to “İzlem Araştırma Şirketi” for the contribution to my work.

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Correspondence to Ayhan Okumuş.

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Ayhan Okumuş declares that he has no conflict of interest.

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All participants were informed about the survey. A questionnaire was conducted with the people who accepted the interview.

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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

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  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Women’s perspective
  • Age
  • Decision
  • Source of information
  • Satisfaction