International Journal of Psychology & Behavior Analysis Volume 1 (2015), Article ID 1:IJPBA-103, 6 pages
Research Article
The Impact of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery on Body Image and Psychological Well-Being: A Preliminary Study

Valentina Elisabetta Di Mattei1,2*, Elena Pagani Bagliacca1, Alessandro Ambrosi2, Luciano Lanfranchi3, Franz Baruffaldi Preis3 and Lucio Sarno1,2

1Clinical and Health Psychology Unit, San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy
2Faculty of Psychology, University Vita-Salute San Raffaele Milan, Italy
3Plastic Surgery Department, Galeazzi Orthopaedic Institute, I.R.C.C.S., and San Raffaele Hospital - Milan, Italy
Valentina Elisabetta Di Mattei, Clinical and Health Psychology Unit, San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy, Tel: +3902291751551; Fax: +390291971454; E-mail:
17 July 2014; 25 November 2014; 07 January 2015
Di Mattei VE, Pagani Bagliacca E, Ambrosi A, Lanfranchi L, Baruffaldi Preis F, et al. (2015) The Impact of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery on Body Image and Psychological Well-Being: A Preliminary Study. Int J Psychol Behav Anal 1: 103. doi:


Background: The relationship between body image and cosmetic surgery represents a new generation of research on the psychological aspects of cosmetic surgery.
Objective: This preliminary study intends to investigate the role of distress relating to body image in conditioning the levels of post-operatory patient benefit both the impact of cosmetic surgery on the state of psychological well-being and body image through the analysis of the differences between the pre and post-operative stages.
Methods: The study lasted 12 months and it occurred in two stages, a pre-operative stage (N=85) and a post-operative stage (N=85). The patients, subjected to different aesthetic operations, were administered the Body Uneasiness Test, Psychological General Well-Being Index - Short version in both the stages and the Glasgow Benefit Inventory in the post-operative phase.
Results: The post-operative patient benefit was conditioned by the existence of clinically significant distress related to body image in the pre-operative stage, in accordance with the degree of severity; the operation had a positive impact on both the state of distress linked to psychological well-being and that relating to body image but, in the latter case, the improvement of distress depends on severity; all the patients with a body image disorder in the pre-operative stage continued to show this even after 12 months.
Conclusions: A careful assessment of body image and its disorders in the stage before the operation may allow the identification of patients who may be dissatisfied by the outcome of the operation.