Body dysmorphic disorder

It is very important to determine if patients are good candidates for cosmetic surgery, what is the surgical risk for complications, to recommend the most appropriate surgical settings and timing to perform the surgery and prevent complications and improve patient satisfaction.

For this reason, we use our AiRA system, in which we ask each patient individually a series of questions that guide us to know if the patient is eligible for surgery or suffers from a psychological disorder that can lead to a wrong decision.

What is body dysmorphic disorder?

It is a psychological condition in which there is an alteration in the perception of one’s own body image.

Patients with body dysmorphic disorder represent around 25% and are characterized by having unrealistic expectations regarding the results that can be achieved with cosmetic surgery, for example having the nose of this or that person or certain physical characteristics of another person or might expect a biological rejuvenation that is not possible.

Consequently, the degree of satisfaction with the results is usually low, leading to repeated cosmetic surgeries even having obtained some improvement, since its underlying problem is basically the lack of physical acceptance and low self-esteem for reasons that must be elucidated with the help of psychologists or psychiatric doctor to understand and improve their quality of life.

These patients must be treated early to avoid worsening their condition, which is why when we identify a potential risk we necessarily ask them for a pre-surgical consultation with the specialist since we must specify if the patient is a good candidate or not for surgery.

Patients should know that cosmetic surgery is not intended to lead to so-called perfection as a beauty ideal, but rather to help the patient physically improve her appearance in order to feel more confident and accept or befriend themselves.

This is achieved when expectations are realistic and the patient accepts that perfection as such is not possible, since it is a subjective idea, and should not be understood as a goal of cosmetic surgery from a practical point of view.

Williams E. Bukret, MD