February 29, 2024

Cosmetic surgery junkies and their doctors

Only 30% of doctors think that BDD sufferers should not get surgery

should a doctor do if a patient with a psychiatric condition asks for an
unnecessary procedure which will probably do no good and could even leave them
worse off? If you are a cosmetic surgeon, you will probably do it anyway, according
to a study by researchers at Rhode Island Hospital and
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

They found that many people who suffer from
body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) come back repeatedly for cosmetic procedures.  But only 2% of them actually reduced the
severity of BDD. Despite this poor long-term outcome, physicians continue to comply
with the wishes of people suffering from BDD. The most common surgical
procedures are rhinoplasty and breast augmentation.

BDD sufferers are obsessed with imaginary
or slight defects in their appearance. Instead of seeking psychiatric help,
they demand cosmetic surgery. And the surgeons willingly provide it. “In a survey
of 265 cosmetic surgeons, only 30% believed that BDD was always a
contraindication to surgery,” says Dr Katharine A. Phillips, a co-author
of the paper. ~ Annals of
Plastic Surgery, Aug 11

Michael Cook
cosmetic surgery