Surgery Study Reveals Unexpected Findings About Depression

A study just published in Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery reveals some intriguing findings: patients in treatment for depression may be more satisfied with their surgical outcome than those who are not.

During consultations, plastic surgeons routinely evaluate patients to determine their emotional stability and readiness to undergo a surgical procedure. Many assume that patients who are optimistic before surgery will feel more satisfied with their surgical outcome. Surprisingly, these assumptions were not borne out in the study’s results.

Jill Hessler, M.D. and her team of researchers at the University of Michigan studied 51 cosmetic surgery patients who underwent facial plastic procedures between January 1, 2007 and January 1, 2008. Before surgery and 4-6 months after surgery, each of them voluntarily responded to a survey that assessed their attitude regarding the procedure(s).

Results of the study revealed that patients being treated for depression before undergoing surgery expressed higher levels of satisfaction with their outcomes than those not being treated for depression. Furthermore, those who expressed more optimism before undergoing their procedures did not feel their results were better than their more pessimistic peers. It is hoped that future research will tell us why.

Read an abstract of this study online in Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.

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