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A recent study published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), suggests that facial plastic surgeons might be able to predict a patient’s satisfaction with the result of a rhinoplasty procedure based on their body image. According to Dr. Philip Solomon, a Toronto based facial plastic surgeon, patients with a known history of symptoms suggesting body dysmorphic disorder, (BDD) prior to their surgery are more likely to be dissatisfied with the results of their surgery. In most cases, this dissatisfaction occurs due to the high and often, unrealistic expectations from the surgery. Patients with a history of BDD typically have strict criteria for their perfect facial appearance, which is difficult to achieve with the limitations of the patient’s anatomy that are beyond the control of the surgeon. In order to ensure satisfaction with any cosmetic procedure, it is important that the surgeon and patient share the same vision for aesthetic outcome and communicate openly about the expected result.

To avoid situations where candidates with unrealistic expectations repeatedly seek unnecessary cosmetic surgery, plastic surgeons must use the consultation prior to surgery as an opportunity to assess the client’s physical and mental health.. Since clients with BDD often are difficult to satisfy performing rhinoplasty surgery may cause further detriment to their mental well being as well as their financial well-being. A major concern for patients with BDD is that the psychological aspect of their condition makes it difficult for them to find balance in their overall facial appearance. Instead, they fixate on improving a particular feature that they dislike. If their dislike for a particular feature on one given day changes to a different feature on another day, this could lead them seeking unnecessary and excessive surgeries.

According to Dr. Solomon, it is an obligation for physicians to consider the well-being of their patient before any personal benefit.. “As a member of a respected profession, I have the responsibility to ensure that the clients that I operate on are able to understand the impact of the surgery on their life. If I feel that the patient is unrealistic with their expectations and will likely be harmed by the procedure, I would not proceed further with the surgery.” Our clients should be aware that despite the advancement in technology, medical or surgical procedures have their set limitations.
Dr. Solomon advises his clients to assess their expectations for the surgery and will provide his clients referrals to seek further help if they require it. Always remember that cosmetic surgery is never the solution for psychological issues. In fact, the surgical process can be quite stressful so a patient’s psychological baseline best be stable, positive and realistic.
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