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« High Dissatisfaction among Patients with Atopic Dermatitis: Opportunity for New Market Entrants | Main | Understanding Women as Customers »

Dealing with Celebrity Stalkers

The decision to undergo plastic surgery is an important and serious step in anyone’s life. Plastic surgery is about more than enhancing aesthetics, it is also about rebuilding lives, saysDr. Scot Bradley Glasberg, president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Thorough explanation about the surgery and patient consultation may come in handy when patients come in your office and start asking you to turn them into a celebrity look-alike. Patients who use as reference Brad Pitt's abs or Angelina Jolie's full lips, may be considered positive and constructive to describe an attribute. This is an acceptable request. However, trying to be someone else is unhealthy.

According to Dr. Eva Ritvo, a psychiatrist and professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Florida, trying to look and mimic a celebrity is a sign of low self-esteem or mental health problems.

In a study published at the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is affecting about 1% to 2% of the general population. However, around 15% of patients seeking plastic surgery are afflicted with body dysmorphic disorder.

Studies reveal that surgeons who choose to operate on patients with BDD are at a high risk for litigation, increased stress and frustration in serving these patients, and low patient satisfaction after surgery. Having multiple surgeries on one part of a body may indicate a case of BDD. Patients with BDD tend to have a high body image dissatisfaction, engage in obsessive-compulsive behaviors, including mirror gazing and comparing personal features.

According to the report, these patients also have an increased tendency to engage in violent or threatening behaviors toward their surgeon Obtaining a patients' history and providing them with questionnaires may help a medical practitioner in determine whether a patient's best interest will be to undergo a surgery or visit a psychiatrist.

In the end, the decision to operate will be upon the discretion of the plastic surgeon based on a patient's severity of symptoms, predicted satisfaction, and patient safety. It is believed that surgeries may offer positive mental benefits through psychotherapy - a process called eumorphic plastic surgery.

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