Impact of cosmetic facial surgery on satisfaction with appearance and quality of life

Jason A Litner, Brian W Rotenberg, Maureen Dennis, Peter A Adamson
Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery 2008, 10 (2): 79-83

OBJECTIVES: To assess perioperative quality-of-life (QOL) changes in a facial plastic surgery patient population and to ascertain factors determinative of QOL changes. A notable paucity of objective scientific measurements of QOL exists within the facial plastic surgery literature.

METHODS: A 3-year prospective cohort study. The patient population, which comprised a consecutive series of patients 16 years or older, undergoing cosmetic nasal or facial surgery, was obtained from the senior author's (P.A.A.) private surgical practice. All patients presenting for surgery were offered participation. The main outcome measure was the 59-item Derriford Appearance Scale (DAS59), a valid and reliable instrument assessing psychological distress associated with self-consciousness of facial appearance. Three patient score subgroupings were established: group 1, the DAS59 scores for all patients; group 2, the DAS59 score according to sex; and group 3, the DAS59 score according to the main surgical procedure. Surveys were administered to eligible patients at the final preoperative clinic visit and at 3 months after surgery. Data from the case-control groups were analyzed by a blinded statistician with appropriate t tests.

RESULTS: A total of 93 patients were enrolled with a 100% response rate (82 females [88%] and 11 males [12%]). The most common procedures were rhinoplasty (49%) and surgery for the aging face (51%). Marked differences in perioperative QOL were noted across all DAS59 domains for group 1 and for all females in group 2. Male patients in group 2 analysis experienced QOL improvement only from DAS59 domain 2 (General Self-consciousness of Facial Appearance). Rhinoplasty and surgery for the aging face improved patients' QOL but differed with respect to which DAS59 domains were affected.

CONCLUSIONS: Quality of life was enhanced by facial plastic surgery in this patient population. Male and female patients seem to have different needs to be met from facial cosmetic surgery and correspondingly different areas of improvement in QOL. Rhinoplasty and surgery for the aging face act on different domains of QOL.

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