Monday, October 09, 2006

Plastic surgery: natural mood enhancer?

Plastic surgery: natural mood enhancer?
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- It has been proven that plastic surgery can improve self-esteem but a U.S. scientist says it can also act as a natural mood enhancer.

"Plastic surgery patients are taking a proactive approach in making themselves happier by improving something that has truly bothered them," said the study's author, Dr. Bruce Freedman, medical director of Plastic Surgery Associates of Northern Virginia. "While we are not saying cosmetic plastic surgery alone is responsible for the drop in patients needing antidepressants, it surely is an important factor."

In the study, 362 patients had cosmetic plastic surgery and 17 percent, or 61 patients, were taking antidepressants. Six months after surgery, however, that number decreased 31 percent, down to 42 patients. In addition, Freedman said 98 percent of patients said cosmetic plastic surgery had markedly improved their self-esteem.

"We have just begun to uncover the various physical and psychological benefits of plastic surgery," said Freedman. "By helping our patients take control over something they were unhappy about, we helped remove a self-imposed barrier and ultimately improved their self-esteem."

The study was presented Monday in San Francisco during the American Society of Plastic Surgeons 2006 conference.


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