LESS Surgery Avoids Body Image Distortion and Improves Patient Satisfaction with Appearance of Their Abdomen

Sharona B Ross, MD1, Timmothy J Bourdeau1, Jamaal Hardee, MS2, Darrell J Downs, ATC1, Heather M DeReus1, Whalen Clark, MD1, Alexander S Rosemurgy, MD1. 1Florida Hospital Tampa, 2University of South Florida College of Medicine

Introduction: Surgeons aspiring to avoid patient perceived body image distortion are a major driving force behind Laparo-Endoscopic Single Site (LESS) surgery.  This study was undertaken to determine if patients perceive changes in or distortion of body image after undergoing LESS surgery.

Methods: At preoperative and first postoperative office visits, patients undergoing LESS surgery were surveyed about their body image.  Patients used a Likert scale to score their perceptions (1=definitely disagree to 5=definitely agree).  Patients also ranked their satisfaction with their overall appearance and their abdominal appearance along a continuous line (0% very dissatisfied to 100% very satisfied).  Median data are reported.

Results: 167 patients (age 54years, 61% women) were queried.  There were no differences before vs. after LESS surgery for : “My body is sexually appealing, “I like my looks just the way they are”, “Most people would consider me good looking”, “ I like the way I look without my clothes”, “I like the way my clothes fit me”, “I dislike my physique”, and “I am physically unattractive” (Table).  As well, postoperatively, satisfaction with overall appearance did not change (Table).  Following LESS surgery, patients were significantly more satisfied with the appearance of their abdomen (59% preoperatively vs. 82% postoperatively; p=.04) (Table).

Conclusions: Before LESS surgery, patients have a healthy perception of their appearance and body image.  After LESS surgery this does not change; however, there is a surprising improvement in their satisfaction with the appearance of their abdomen.  Body image distortion does not occur with LESS surgery and, notably, patients denote an improved satisfaction with the appearance of their abdomen.

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