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Body Image Dissatisfaction and Body Dysmorphic Disorder in 100 Cosmetic Surgery Patients

Sarwer, David B. Ph.D.; Wadden, Thomas A. Ph.D.; Pertschuk, Michael J. M.D.; Whitaker, Linton A. M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: May 1998 - Volume 101 - Issue 6 - p 1644–1649
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This study was the first empirical investigation of body image dissatisfaction and body dysmorphic disorder in cosmetic surgery patients. Of 132 women, 100 women (response rate, 76 percent) completed two body image measures prior to surgery, the Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire and the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Examination Self-Report. Cosmetic surgery patients did not demonstrate greater dissatisfaction with their overall appearance compared with the reported normal values of the measures. However, when asked about the specific bodily feature they were considering for cosmetic surgery, they reported significantly greater dissatisfaction than a normative sample. In addition, 7 percent of the sample met diagnostic criteria for body dysmorphic disorder, a potential psychiatric contraindication to cosmetic surgery. Implications of these findings are discussed with respect to the nature of body image dissatisfaction and the prevalence of body dysmorphic disorder in cosmetic surgery populations. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 101: 1644, 1998.)

University of Pennsylvania Medical Center

The Edwin and Fannie Gray Hall Center for

Human Appearance

10 Penn Tower, 3400 Spruce Street

Philadelphia, Pa. 19104

Philadelphia, Pa.

From the Department of Psychiatry, the Division of Plastic Surgery, and the Edwin and Fannie Gray Hall Center for Human Appearance at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Received for publication June 26, 1997.

©1998American Society of Plastic Surgeons