Part of the problem or part of the solution? Plastic surgeons and body image dissatisfaction

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Nichola Jane Rumsey
Phillippa Diedrichs


body image, health education, surgeons, patient selection, follow-up studies


The prevalence of body dissatisfaction amongst people of all ages is increasing year on year. A substantial body of evidence now attests to a range of negative impacts on psychological wellbeing and on key areas of living, including health, education, work and relationships. This article considers why this social issue is worthy of attention from plastic surgeons and their teams and outlines ways in which the profession might contribute to a collective response. Suggestions include education to enhance understanding of the psychological factors involved in seeking and responding to appearance-enhancing surgery, training to improve standards of clinical practice (including patient selection, assessment and follow-up; promoting fully informed shared treatment decision making; the routine collection of pre and post procedural data) and the adoption of socially responsible business practices.



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