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Does Abdominoplasty Have a Positive Influence on Quality of Life, Self-Esteem, and Emotional Stability?

Papadopulos, Nikolaos A. M.D.; Staffler, Vera M.D.; Mirceva, Vesna M.D.; Henrich, Gerhard Ph.D.; Papadopoulos, Othon N. M.D.; Kovacs, Laszlo M.D.; Herschbach, Peter Ph.D.; Machens, Hans-Günther M.D.; Biemer, Edgar M.D.

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e31824ecc2b
Cosmetic: Original Articles

Background: In a previous prospective study, the authors evaluated the quality of life in patients undergoing aesthetic surgery. In this survey, the authors split up the operative indication and analyzed quality of life, self-esteem, and emotional stability after abdominoplasty alone.

Methods: Sixty-three patients participated in the study. The testing instrument consisted of a self-developed questionnaire to collect demographic and socioeconomic data and a postoperative complication questionnaire developed especially for abdominoplasties. In addition, a standardized self-assessment test on satisfaction and quality of life (Questions on Life Satisfaction), the Rosenberg Self -Esteem Questionnaire, and the Freiburg Personality Inventory were used.

Results: Significantly increasing values in some items of the standardized self-assessment test on satisfaction and quality of life were found: sum scores of the General Life Satisfaction showed a significant improvement (p = 0.004) and the scores of the items housing/living conditions (p = 0.000) and family life/children (p = 0.000). Within the Satisfaction with Health module, a significant improvement in the items mobility (p = 0.02) and independence from assistance (p = 0.01) was found. Values in the module Satisfaction with Appearance (Body Image) increased regarding satisfaction with the abdomen (p = 0.001). Over 84 percent were very satisfied with the aesthetic result, 93.4 percent would undergo the same treatment again, and 88.9 percent would further recommend the operation. Data revealed that participants' self-esteem was very high and their emotional stability was very well balanced.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that abdominoplasty increases most aspects of quality of life, particularly family life, living conditions, mobility, and independency from assistance. Also, patient self-esteem and emotional stability ratings are very high postoperatively.

Author Information

Munich and Dachau, Germany; and Athens, Greece

From the Department of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery, Munich Technical University; Department of Ear, Nose, and Throat, Hospital of Dachau; Department of Dermatology, University Hospital at Biederstein, Munich Technical University; Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Munich Technical University; Department of Plastic Surgery, University Hospital “Andreas Syggros” Capodistrian University of Athens; Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Roman-Herzog-Krebszentrum, Munich Technical University.

Received for publication December 7, 2011; accepted December 27, 2011.

Presented at the 22nd Annual Meeting of the European Association of Plastic Surgeons, in Mykonos, Greece, June 2 through 4, 2011.

Disclosure: The authors have no financial interests to declare.

Nikolaos A. Papadopulos, M.D.; Department of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery, University Hospital Rechts der Isar, Munich Technical University, Ismaningerstrasse 22, D-81675 Munich, Germany,

©2012American Society of Plastic Surgeons