Clinical research in aesthetic surgery.
Clinical research in aesthetic surgery cannot use traditional objective measures of surgical success. Present research designs and methods used in aesthetic surgery limit the ability to conduct meaningful clinical research. Outcomes research may be ideally suited for assessing patients in aesthetic surgery. A critical aspect of an outcomes-based approach is to select appropriate instruments for investigations. Widely accepted, standardized methods for assessing outcomes would allow for comparison of surgical techniques and provide a common basis for clinical investigations.