Medically Reviewed April 2023, by Claire Clarke - Head of Surgical Services for The Harley Medical Group

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a known mental health condition thought to affect 1 in 50 people, who have a hugely distorted view of how their body looks and spends a lot of time worrying about their appearance.

BDD patients undertaking cosmetic procedures tend to have unrealistic expectations of their outcome, and therefore are at greater risk of experiencing poor outcomes post-procedure.  As popularity increases for reality TV programmes, influencers and celebrity endorsements, patients with repeated cosmetic procedures and unrealistic expectations continue to grow.

  • Demand is high with over 28,000 cosmetic procedures taking place in the UK each year.
  • Women in particular are seeking popular procedures for breast augmentation, breast
    reduction, face lifts and liposuction.
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is thought to affect 1 in 50 people


Surgeons may refer a patient to a mental health expert when they consider the psychological status of the patient may affect their satisfaction with the outcome of surgery. This could be because the expectations of the surgery outcomes are unrealistic, and this cannot be resolved during consultation; the patient has a history of repeated cosmetic procedures, or their mental health history reveals co-existing psychological disturbances.

Psychological Screening Assessment:

  1. Patient goes through Onebright’s 30-minute BDD psychological screening assessment via telephone to rule out any issues which might be a contraindication to surgery.
  2. Onebright will review the patient’s thoughts on their body defect; how this impacts their daily working and social lives; what counteractivities take place because of their thoughts and other interferences due to these activities.
  3. Once the psychological BDD screening assessment report is available, surgeons will assess the patient’s suitability for the procedure, using best practice in line with CQC guidance.

Our promise:

All referred patients will receive the highest standards of clinical care and ethical practice possible, removing any concerns regarding the impact on mental health, and we will support them to make an informed decision about the procedure they are considering. By referring the patient to a mental health expert this can positively affect their overall satisfaction rate of outcome of their surgery.

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