[Desire for amputation in body integrity identity disorder]

Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2014;158:A7146.
[Article in Dutch]


Background: Body integrity identity disorder (BIID) is a rare neuropsychiatric disorder in which patients experience a mismatch between the real and experienced body from childhood. BIID results in a strong desire to amputate or paralyse one or more limbs.

Case description: We describe two BIID patients. A 40-year-old healthy male suffered daily from his desire for amputation, and therefore made a request for amputation at our academic medical centre. A 61-year-old male proceeded to self-amputation to create the body he had wished for, thereby curing himself from BIID.

Conclusion: To date, no treatment has been found for BIID. Therefore patients often proceed to self-amputation, which could lead to serious and even dangerous complications. These case histories suggest that elective amputation may be a treatment for BIID. Many doctors, however, will question the admissibility of amputation of a healthy limb.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amputees / psychology*
  • Body Image*
  • Elective Surgical Procedures / ethics*
  • Elective Surgical Procedures / psychology
  • Factitious Disorders / psychology*
  • Factitious Disorders / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Self Mutilation / psychology*