source: Psychology, Health & Medicine
Wickwar S, McBain H, Edmunds MR, Ezra DG, Rose GE, Newman SP
Patients with appearance-altering conditions may be dissatisfied with the outcomes of reconstructive surgery due to unmet expectations. This study explored patients’ expectations of orbital decompression surgery for thyroid eye disease (TED) and whether these were met. Semi-structured interviews were conducted at two times:
(1) in the weeks after patients were listed for decompression surgery and before surgery;
(2) up to 12 months after surgery.
Thematic analysis was performed for each time point, to identify themes within the data. Fourteen adults with TED were interviewed prior to surgery and five were followed up after surgery. Thematic analyses found:
(1) Prior to surgery, patients had formed expectations through online information about the procedure, consultations with physicians, the impact TED had on their lives, and speaking to relevant others. Patients had specific expectations about the procedure, the recovery, post-operative appearance and post-operative vision.
(2) After surgery, patients generally felt their appearance and well-being had improved. However, dissatisfaction was linked to unanticipated specific aspects of surgical care, recovery, or appearance.
Dissatisfaction can arise from unmet expectations for the outcomes of reconstructive surgery. Physicians should be aware of the processes by which patients form expectations, for example different types and quality of online information. Ensuring that preoperative expectations are realistic could enhance satisfaction after surgery.
University of London, UK; Moorfields Eye Hospital, UK; East London NHS Foundation Trust, UK; University of Birmingham, UK