Body image dissatisfaction and body dysmorphic disorder in 100 cosmetic surgery patients

D B Sarwer, T A Wadden, M J Pertschuk, L A Whitaker
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 1998, 101 (6): 1644-9
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.

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