Plastic surgery and psychotherapy in the treatment of 100 psychologically disturbed patients.


This paper reviews the senior author's long-term experience with the surgical-psychiatric treatment of 100 aesthetic surgery patients with significant psychological disturbances. Patients with psychological disturbances of a magnitude generally considered an "absolute contraindication" for surgery were operated on and later assessed to determine the psychological impact of surgery. Patient follow-up averaged 6.2 years (maximum follow-up 25.7 years). Of the 87 patients who underwent operation (7 patients were refused surgery and 6 voluntarily deferred surgery), 82.8 percent had a positive psychological outcome, 13.8 percent experienced "minimal" improvement from surgery, and 3.4 percent were negatively affected by surgery. There were no lawsuits, suicides, or psychotic decompensations. Patients with severe psychological disturbances frequently benefited from combined surgical-psychiatric treatment designed to address the patient's profound sense of deformity. This study suggests that plastic surgeons are "passing up" a significant number of patients who may be helped by combined surgical-psychological intervention.

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@article{Edgerton1991PlasticSA, title={Plastic surgery and psychotherapy in the treatment of 100 psychologically disturbed patients.}, author={Milton T. Edgerton and Maxine Langman and Thomas Pruzinsky}, journal={Plastic and reconstructive surgery}, year={1991}, volume={88 4}, pages={594-608} }