According to a study presented at the recent American Society of Plastic Surgeons 2006 conference here, plastic surgery not only can improve self-esteem but also acts as a natural mood enhancer. I would think that a number of followup studies are needed before anyone starts prescribing plastic surgery as a treatment for depression.
UPI reports that the study, authored by Bruce Freedman, M.D., medical director of Plastic Surgery Associates of Northern Virginia, focused on 362 patients who had had cosmetic plastic surgery. Seventeen percent of that total, or 61 patients, were taking antidepressants at the time of their surgery. Six months after surgery, that number decreased 31 percent, dropping it to 42 patients. In addition, reports Dr. Freedman, 98 percent of the patients said cosmetic plastic surgery had markedly improved their self-esteem.
The UPI report quotes Dr. Freedman as noting in his presentation that: “Plastic-surgery patients are taking a proactive approach in making themselves happier by improving something that has truly bothered them. While we are not saying cosmetic plastic surgery alone is responsible for the drop in patients needing antidepressants, it surely is an important factor.”