DOI: 10.1515/sjpain-2023-0099 ISSN: 1877-8879

Cosmetic surgery and associated chronic postsurgical pain: A cross-sectional study from Norway

Sophia Engel, Henrik Børsting Jacobsen, Silje Endresen Reme
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Neurology (clinical)



Chronic postsurgical pain (CPSP) is a common postoperative sequela. Despite the increasing popularity of cosmetic surgeries, there is a notable lack of research on CPSP in this context, with existing studies focusing on breast surgeries only. To address existing gaps in knowledge, the objective of the present study was to investigate the self-reported prevalence of cosmetic surgery and associated CPSP among Norwegian adults.


An online questionnaire consisting of three questions inquiring prior cosmetic surgeries, associated CPSP, and whether participants had sought for pain management was constructed and distributed among adults residing in Norway.


Between November 30, 2022 and December 16, 2022, 1,746 participants were recruited. 10% of respondents, 73.3% of which were female, affirmed to have undergone cosmetic surgery. About 1 in 4 of these was aged 18–29 years. The prevalence of CPSP was 12.6%. CPSP was five times more common among male, compared to female respondents. While about two thirds of participants indicating to have experienced CPSP were aged 18–29 years, CPSP was much less common among individuals of other ages.


Consistent with international trends, there appears to be a young and growing population of cosmetic surgery consumers in Norway. According to our results, about 1 in 8 of these might be affected by CPSP, a condition that is notoriously hard to treat and weighting heavily on public healthcare and social welfare systems. Large-scale longitudinal studies further investigating the topic are thus urgently needed.

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