The "obsessive" cosmetic surgery patient: a consideration of body image dissatisfaction and body dysmorphic disorder.

D B Sarwer
Michael Pertschuk


"Obsessive" cosmetic surgery patients often present as "hyper-focused" on their appearance. We may best be able to understand these patients through examining their thoughts and feelings about their body image. This paper reviews the relationship between physical appearance, body image dissatisfaction, and the pursuit of cosmetic surgery. An extreme form of body image dissatisfaction, Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), which may characterize many "obsessive" patients, is also discussed. Recommendations for assessing patients' body image concerns include a comprehensive history as well as specific questions about appearance-related concerns.