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Does cosmetic surgery help body dysmorphic disorder?
Date:8/11/2010

PROVIDENCE, RI A new study finds that while many who suffer from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) seek cosmetic procedures, only two percent of procedures actually reduced the severity of BDD. Despite this poor long-term outcome, physicians continue to provide requested surgeries to people suffering from BDD. The study was recently published in Annals of Plastic Surgery.

Katharine A. Phillips, MD, is the director of the body image program at Rhode Island Hospital and a co-author of the paper. Phillips says, "BDD is a psychiatric disorder characterized by preoccupation with an imagined or slight defect in appearance which causes clinically significant distress or functional impairment. A majority of these individuals believe they have an actual deformity that can be corrected by cosmetic treatments to fix these perceived defects rather than seeking psychiatric intervention."

Phillips and her co-author, Canice Crerand, PhD, of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, reported in previous studies that BDD appears relatively common among individuals who receive cosmetic surgery, with reported rates of 7 to 8 percent in cosmetic surgery patients in the United States. Even with the high frequency of those with BDD seeking and receiving cosmetic procedures, few studies have more specifically investigated the clinical outcomes of surgical and minimally invasive cosmetic treatments, such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and injectable fillers).

In their new study, the researchers report that in a small retrospective study of 200 individuals with BDD, 31 percent sought and 21 percent received surgical or minimally invasive treatment for BDD symptoms. Nearly all of these individuals continued to have BDD symptoms, and some actually developed new appearance preoccupations. They also note that in a survey of 265 cosmetic surgeons, 178 (65 percent) reported treating patients with BDD, yet only one percent of the cases resulted in BDD
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Contact: Nancy Cawley Jean
njean@lifespan.org
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert  

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