One of the main challenges for a cosmetic surgery surgeon is to identify people who may have a body dysmorphic disorder. Often, these people become obsessed about surgery, trying to correct those defects they think they have, but that really only exist in their mind.
At first, it can be difficult to identify these people, especially if they are at an early stage of their disorder. They may ask for an operation that they do not really need, but this is also common in those who are very perfectionist with their image, and might simply appear to be a difference in taste or appreciation.
When it comes to routine interventions, such as correcting a small nose, performing a first breast augmentation or removing fat from rebellious areas, they do not usually trip any alarm off.
It is even very easy to think that these people have no more than a bodily dissatisfaction problem.
What should the surgeon do when faced with a body dysmorphic disorder?
It is very complicated to know how to act exactly to this problem, since the surgeon is not an expert in psychiatry and therefore can not easily diagnose body dysmorphic disorder syndrome.
The usual thing is to recognize the problem once the operation has been performed, since the patient will generally not be happy and may even be asking about how to improve the results with a new intervention. And this even before the necessary time has passed to see the real results.
Even if the operation is a success, the patient will not perceive it so, and will often be nervous and upset. In these cases, the surgeon should try to refer the patient to a psychiatric service, although it is very likely that the person will refuse to go to another clinic.
In some cases, it is even possible that they sue the clinic for negligence, because in their understanding the blame of not seeing it will fall upon the operating doctor. It may also come about after having visited several clinics who refuse to perform the intervention they request.
It is important that the surgeon, sometimes with the support of a psychologist, can identify possible cases of this type that appear in the clinic and do not perform unnecessary interventions, or that could cause problems for the patient, such as excessive breast or lip enlargement or any other totally unnecessary intervention.