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Objectives-To assess the health related quality of life of patients before and after aesthetic surgery.Design-A survey by questionnaire of patients before receiving surgery and 6 months after surgery.Sample-656 patients anticipating surgery were sent a preoperative questionnaire, to which 443 replied. Subsequently 259 of these received a postoperative questionnaire, of which 198 were returned.Outcome measures-Health status was assessed using three standardised health status instruments (The Short Form 36 Health Survey Questionnaire (SF-36), the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) and the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale. Comparisons were made between the health status of the plastic surgery patients and that of a random sample of the general population.Results-Patients receiving breast reduction surgery experienced significant improvements on all three health status measures. Patients in all surgical groups experienced significant improvements in self-esteem.Conclusions-Patients receiving aesthetic surgery experience a wide range of physical, psychological and social problems. Surgery was shown be effective at addressing these problems. Health status assessment provides a valid and independent method for measuring the effects of such health care interventions. © 1996 The British Association of Plastic Surgeons.

Original publication




Journal article


British Journal of Plastic Surgery

Publication Date





433 - 438