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Plastic Surgery And The “Barbie Syndrome”

Interesting article in the Huffington Post last week by Dr. Glenn D. Braunstein: Oh, You Beautiful Doll: Plastic Surgery Risks and Rewards. The article discusses the “Barbie Syndrome” or more accurately “Body Dysmorphic Disorder.” I love this line:

And, finally, try to have realistic expectations — it is unlikely that cosmetic enhancement is going to drastically change your life — after all, you are human, and not a plastic doll.

The article reminded me of my post on Suitability. Not all patients should have surgery. Their reasons for desiring surgery, goals, and expectations should be discussed during the consultation. Risks and benefits must be weighed. 

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

  • In its simplest definition, it is an obsessive preoccupation with a slight, imperceptible, or actually nonexistent anatomic irregularity to the degree that it interferes with normal adjustment within society.
  • This disorder may be present in varying degrees. It is the most common aberrant personality characteristic seen by the plastic surgeon.
  • When postoperative dissatisfaction occurs (and in most cases, it will), it almost always is based on what the patient understood rather than what was actually said.

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*


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