Demographic features of patients seeking cosmetic surgery

Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1998 Jun;52(3):283-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1819.1998.00388.x.


The demographic features of 415 patients seeking cosmetic surgery were investigated from a psychiatric point of view. Of the 415 patients, 198 (47.7%) were found to have mental disorders according to ICD-10 including: 17 with schizophrenia, 20 with other persistent delusional disorders, 33 with depressive episode, 47 with neurotic disorders, 42 with hypochondriacal disorder, five with paranoid personality disorder and 14 with histrionic personality disorder. The rate of subjects with poor social adjustment was 56.0%. It was noteworthy that such a considerable number of patients with mental disorders or with poor social adjustment had sought cosmetic surgery. Distinct gender differences were found: male subjects were characterized to have a greater number of mental disorders, especially dysmorphophobia (other persistent delusional disorders plus hypochondriacal disorder) and showed the narrow age range between teenage and young adult age when they were preoccupied with their 'deformity', and poor social function. A history of frequent operations was not considered to be an indicator for mental abnormality. The diagnostic issue in dysmorphophobia is briefly described.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Concept
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Adjustment
  • Surgery, Plastic / psychology*