Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: Body dysmorphic disorder in ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery

Lindsay K. McConnell, Wendy Lee, Donald W. Black, Erin M. Shriver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Despite the fact that up to 15% of patients in an aesthetic surgery practice have body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), little has been written about the condition in the oculoplastic literature. The authors describe 3 patients with suspected BDD who presented with perceived periocular defects. To appear "Asian," a 39-year-old Hispanic woman underwent over 30 surgeries. She developed disfiguring scars and lagophthalmos with corneal scarring, remained unsatisfied, and tragically committed suicide. A 52-year-old woman with moderate dermatochalasis underwent a blepharoplasty to improve her vision and appearance and help her gain employment. Despite a good outcome, she remained dissatisfied and blamed the surgeon for her unemployment. Finally, a 73-year-old woman presented demanding treatment for brow rhytids causing severe emotional distress. She was denied intervention due to unrealistic expectations. These patients are suspected to be suffering from BDD. Increased awareness is critical as BDD patients often remain unsatisfied after surgical intervention and are in need of psychiatric care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e3-e6
JournalOphthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Surgery

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