Facial plast Surg 2003; 19(1): 007-018
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-39137
Copyright © 2002 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA. Tel.: +1(212) 584-4662

Body Dysmorphic Disorder in Cosmetic Surgery Patients

David B. Sarwer1 , Canice E. Crerand2 , Elizabeth R. Didie2
  • 1Departments of Psychiatry and Surgery, The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, The Edwin and Fannie Gray Hall Center for Human Appearance, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2Department of Psychology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
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Publication History

Publication Date:
09 May 2003 (online)


This article discusses body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) among cosmetic surgery patients. BDD is characterized as a preoccupation with a slight or imagined defect with some aspect of physical appearance that leads to significant disruption in daily functioning. Although the prevalence of BDD within the general population is unknown, recent evidence suggests that the disorder may be overrepresented among persons who seek cosmetic medical treatments. Preliminary evidence suggests that persons with BDD do not benefit from cosmetic treatments and frequently experience a worsening of their BDD symptoms. Thus, identification of BDD symptomotology has become an important part of determining patients' appropriateness for cosmetic procedures.


1 *Sarwer and colleagues have written several detailed reviews of this literature. Those who are interested in reading about this literature in greater detail are referred to the papers and chapters cited here