Women's Self-Image and Sexual Satisfaction Increase After Cosmetic Surgery

Body image and sexual pleasure, including orgasm, enhanced after aesthetic makeovers

New York, NY (February 16, 2006)Aesthetic Surgery Journal today released new data from a study on the impact of aesthetic plastic surgery on body image and sexual satisfaction. Women who undergo common elective cosmetic surgery procedures not only feel better about their bodies, but also have higher degrees of satisfaction with their sex lives, including ability to orgasm. Women in the study who had undergone aesthetic procedures were more sexually satisfied, reported that their partners were more sexually satisfied, dressed to enhance their new figures, and were apt to try more and different sexual activities post-surgery. The greatest benefits were seen in women who had breast augmentation/breast lift and/or body contouring procedures. The study was published in the January/February 2006 issue of Aesthetic Surgery Journal, the peer-reviewed publication of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).

“This data is particularly interesting because several studies have suggested that women are not motivated to undergo aesthetic surgery to improve their sex lives. It appears that the improvements in sexual response are an unexpected benefit,’ said Dr. David Sarwer, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University Of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and lead editor of Psychological Aspects of Reconstructive and Cosmetic Plastic Surgery: Clinical, Empirical, and Ethical Perspectives, published last fall.

According to the study, women who had facial aesthetic surgery (e.g., rhinoplasty, face lift), breast augmentation or lift and/or body contouring surgeries (e.g., tummy tuck, liposuction) experienced a high degree of body image satisfaction after surgery. Many also reported sexual benefits for themselves and their partners, which were most pronounced in the group who underwent breast or body procedures. While women who underwent facial procedures experienced enhancements in body image, they reported significantly fewer improvements in psychosexual outcomes. This research suggests that the physical modifications achieved by major aesthetic plastic surgery procedures have far-reaching effects on body image, sexual satisfaction and relationships.

“Patients in the study showed an unexpected, but important benefit: increased satisfaction with their sex lives after plastic surgery,” said Guy Stofman, MD, chief of plastic surgery at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA and lead author of the study. “This study is important because we were able to objectively measure a significant quality of life benefit after cosmetic surgery.”

“The benefits of cosmetic plastic surgery appear to go beyond enabling patients to feel better about their physical appearance,” commented Mark Jewell, MD, President of ASAPS, which publishes Aesthetic Surgery Journal. “It also extends to her most intimate and personal moments. These new data in a peer-reviewed scientific publication will add a lot to how we measure the outcomes of cosmetic procedures.

Of 70 women who completed a survey about their postoperative psychosexual life, more than 95 percent reported improvements in body image, regardless of the type of surgery they had received. After surgery, 81 percent of the 26 breast surgery respondents and 68 percent of the 25 body surgery patients experienced improvements in sexual satisfaction, compared to 32 percent of the 19 facial surgery patients. Seventy-three percent of breast surgery patients and 56 percent of body surgery patients also perceived an increase in their partners’ sexual satisfaction, compared to 21 percent of facial respondents. Remarkably, 31 percent of breast and 52 percent of body patients reported that they could achieve orgasm more easily after surgery. Only one patient (5 percent) in the facial surgery group reported a similar improvement in ability to orgasm.

About ASJ

Aesthetic Surgery Journal is the official, peer-reviewed publication of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and is the most widely read clinical journal in the field of cosmetic surgery, with subscribers in more than 80 countries.


The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the leading organization of board-certified plastic surgeons specializing in cosmetic plastic surgery. ASAPS active-member plastic surgeons are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. www.surgery.org


The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.


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