American Board of Cosmetic surgery president and Las Vegas cosmetic surgeon Dr. Samir Pancholi was recently interviewed by the Las Vegas Review Journal regarding obsessive body modification. Focusing on how addictive body modification can take the form of excessive cosmetic surgery, Dr. Pancholi discussed body dysmorphic disorder and how to address it.
“Studies have shown that better-looking people are favored, so individuals are willing to do anything that gives them an edge over the next person. It can become addictive in that process,” said Dr. Pancholi. He added, “Someone who is obsessed might have had a breast augmentation and now they want to go bigger. Then they come in later to get them even bigger, and then later to get them reshaped. They go through seven or eight breast surgeries, and they still want more.”
Dr. Pancholi went on to discuss how important it is for a cosmetic surgeon to know how to see the warning signs and say “no” when necessary, though he warns that some will always find another surgeon willing to work with them.
“You have to be careful in engaging these types of people because it brings on something that you will never be able to fix,” he stated. “When someone has an appearance that is appropriate, and they have significant problems with it, you’re likely not going to change what they see.”
Stressing the importance of spending time getting to know each individual patient, Dr. Pancholi says it’s imperative to be able to pinpoint a patient’s need and detect any underlying issues that may make moving forward risky—both physically and emotionally.
“At the end of the day, we have to make sure that the person is in a better spot. If they’re in emotional distress, they shouldn’t even make it to the operating room.”