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Body Image Has Little Influence on Desire for Plastic Surgery, ASPS Study Reveals
Date:10/18/2007

Higher BMI -- Greater Interest in Liposuction

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Think only people with low self-esteem have plastic surgery? Think again. A person's overall level of body satisfaction has no influence on whether a person is interested in most forms of cosmetic plastic surgery, according to a study in October's Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery(R) (PRS), the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

"This study shows the majority of people who want plastic surgery have a normal level of body satisfaction," said Richard D'Amico, MD, ASPS President-Elect. "We use the term 'look as good as you feel' often and it is good to know this is why the average plastic surgery patient has a cosmetic procedure. They are not, in fact, suffering from low or poor self-esteem."

The study looked at two measures of body image and satisfaction -- self-rated attractiveness and comfort in a swimsuit. Overall body satisfaction in people interested in cosmetic plastic surgery, other than liposuction, did not differ from people who were not interested.

People who were interested in liposuction did report lower body satisfaction than other individuals. This was true for both men and women, even when statistically controlling for differences in body mass index (BMI) between the groups. People with a higher BMI and those who felt they were too heavy were more likely to express an interest in liposuction than those who were satisfied with their weight. This may indicate a belief that liposuction is for weight loss rather than body contouring.

"It is critical to remember that liposuction is not appropriate for weight loss," said Dr. D'Amico. "Liposuction is ideal for people who are at or near their ideal body weight, and have stubborn, localized deposits of fat they want removed."

Individuals who frequently monitored their appearance were more likely to report an interest
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SOURCE American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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