Cosmetic Surgery Leaves 1 in 8 Patients With Chronic Post-Op Pain

By   |  March 13, 2024

By Carole Tanzer Miller HealthDay Reporter  |  Copyright © 2024 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Norwegians are increasingly asking surgeons for a nip, tuck or implant, and many — especially men — have pain that lingers long after their procedure, a new survey shows.

Researchers asked 1,746 adults in Norway whether they had undergone cosmetic surgery and how it turned out.

One in 10 said they had had a cosmetic procedure — from breast reductions or implants to facelifts and "intimate" genital surgeries. 

Seventy-five percent of those surveyed were women, and a quarter were between the ages of 18 and 29. 

In all, 1 in 8 said they had pain that lasted more than three months after their procedure — and men were five times more likely to be affected than women.

"Considering the increasing acceptance and popularity of cosmetic surgery, it is vital for patients to be well-informed about potential complications," lead study author Sophia Engel, of the Mind Body Lab at the University of Oslo, said in a news release. "Additionally, the public should be aware of the impact that chronic pain after cosmetic surgery has on the healthcare and social welfare system."

She said that patients in Norway who experience post-operative pain may be more likely to need care from the public health system. They're also more likely to be unable to work and may have a decreased quality of life.

The study — led by Silje Endresen Reme, a professor of psychology at the university — is the first since 2008 to investigate how common cosmetic surgery is in Norway. Researchers said it is also the first to examine post-surgical pain in adults undergoing these procedures.

The findings were recently published in the Scandanavian Journal of Pain.

More information

UCLA Health has advice about pain relief after cosmetic surgery.

SOURCE: SciencePOD, news release, March 11, 2024