Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 299–319 | Cite as

Rhinoplasty and its psychological implications: Applied psychology observations in aesthetic surgery

  • V. Micheli-Pellegrini
  • G. M. Manfrida


Interest in the psychological problems that have always been associated with plastic surgery has been growing in the last 30 years, as moral and social prejudices have become less important. This interest has concentrated on the psychological mechanisms that induce patients to undergo surgery and on the selection criteria to be followed by surgeons. This report proposes a new method for tackling these problems. It is based on our experience as well as on the investigation, by means of interviews and tests (MMPI and Rorschach), of subjects requesting rhinoplasty.

These elements have helped in propounding theories on the relationship between surgery and its psychological aspects, as based on three points: 1) the feelings of the individual that derive from the presence of an actual deformity or from the mere subjective feeling of one; 2) the nature and magnitude of the limitations on the patient's desire to get rid of the deformity; 3) the conflicts deriving from the contrast between subjective ideas of deformity and perfection and what can actually be achieved through surgery.

Practical criteria for selection of patients are presented, including an analysis of the surgeon's emotional reactions during the first interview, which is regarded as a relationship already interpersonal and somewhat therapeutic. Anderson's questionnaire is discussed as an alternative possibility.

Key words

Rhinoplasty Psychology Rorschach 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Micheli-Pellegrini
    • 1
  • G. M. Manfrida
    • 1
  1. 1.FlorenceItaly

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