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Meijia Plastic Surgery Hospital, China, China
Title: Avoiding psychological pitfalls in aesthetic medical procedures

Qiuyu Wang has engaged in the Professional Cosmetic Dermatology and Plastic Surgery for more than 15 years in a variety of hospital and community settings in China. In 2008, she has a Visiting Scholar, visited Korea Dermatology Group Institution. She has considerable experience in providing a variety of clinical treatment and educational activities related to dermatology and non-invasive or minimally invasive aesthetic treatment, especially in the field of photoelectric treatment, non-invasive treatment and fat transplantation. She has participated in National High Technology Research and Development Program (863 Program), National Natural Science Fund Project and published many articles in recent years. Her innovation is also reflected in her patents (5 items) and a co-author of book Threads and Consultation was published in 2017, and is the first of its kind to combine threads lifting skills and counseling skills to provide a practical resource for managing patients with improvement of aesthetic patient satisfaction.


Statement of the Problem: According to the research of Cash and Henry, about half of American females have a negative evaluation of their own appearance. In German population-based surveys, approximately 40% of female participants reported that they had a preoccupation with one part of their body appearance. This is arguably the main reason for people undergoing aesthetic procedures. Culturally, Chinese people would like to have a body image because this may have positive effects in many ways (i.e. producing more job opportunities, finding a partner more easily and enhancing self-confidence). Hence, more Chinese are undergoing body image change using aesthetic procedures. Nevertheless, not these people have the correct perspective on their physical appearance, such as patients with body dysmorphic disorder. Objective: To assess the prevalence of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) in an aesthetic surgery setting in the region of Southwest China, and to ascertain the differences in terms of body images between patients in the aesthetic setting and general Chinese population. This study tracked patients’ satisfaction with their body image changes while undergoing aesthetic medical procedures to identify whether the condition of patients who were presenting with BDD symptoms or their psychological symptoms could be improved by enhancing their appearance. Additionally, this study explored whether there was improvement in Quality of Life (QoL) and self-esteem after aesthetic medical procedures. Methods: 106 female patients, who were undergoing aesthetic medical procedures for the first time, were classified as having body dysmorphic disorder symptoms or not having body dysmorphic disorder symptoms, based on the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Examination (BDDE), which was administered preoperatively. These patients were followed-up for one month after the aesthetic procedures. Multidimensional Body Self-Relations Questionnaire-Appearance Scales (MBSRQ-AS) and Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale (RSE-S) were used to assess patients’ preoccupation with appearance and self-esteem pre-procedure and one-month post-procedure. Additionally, 100 female healthy control participants were recruited as a comparative group into this study and they were also assessed using BDDE, MBSRQ-AS and RSE-S. Results: A total of 14.2% of 106 aesthetic patients and 1% of 100 healthy controls were diagnosed with BDD to varying extents. BDDE scores were 72.83 (SD+30.7) and 68.18 (SD+31.82) respectively in pre-procedure and post-procedure for the aesthetic patient group and 43.44 (SD+15.65) for the healthy control group (F=34.28; p<0.001). There was a significant difference between the groups in subscales of MBSRQ-AS between groups. The study also showed there were no significant differences in the scores of BDDE, MBSRQ-AS and RSE-S of those fifteen aesthetic patients diagnosed with BDD after aesthetic procedures lasting one month. Conclusion: There was a high prevalence rate (14.2%) of body dysmorphic disorder in aesthetic seekers and it seemed that these patients suffering from BDD were more likely to be dissatisfied with the results of the aesthetic medical procedures. However, general aesthetic patients showed improvement in most assessments which indicated aesthetic medical procedures could not only enhance patients’ appearance, but also the patients’ low self-esteem and QoL. Self-satisfaction would also be promoted. A suitable screening procedure for BDD and valuable screening questionnaires might be considered for routine use in aesthetic clinical settings to minimize dissatisfaction and complaints.

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