Body dysmorphic disorder: case report.

East Afr Med J. 2007 Sep;84(9):450-2.

Body dysmorphic disorder: case report.

Mareko GM, Othieno CJ, Kuria MW, Kiarie JN, Ndetei DM.

Kenyatta National Hospital, P.O. Box 26-00202, Nairobi, Kenya.


The desire for self-mutilation in the absence of any discernible psychopathology is relatively rare. Self-mutilation is most commonly a manifestation of an underlying psychopathology such as depression, schizophrenia, personality disorder, transexuality, body dysmorphic disorder and factitious disorder. In this article, a case in which a 29-year-old single Kenyan lady of African origin demanded a surgical operation to modify and reduce the size of her external genitalia is presented. Although female genital mutilation is still widespread in the country, this case is of interest in that the woman did not seek the usual circumcision but sought to specifically reduce the size of her labia minora so that she could feel like a normal woman. The unique challenges in her management are discussed. Possible aetiological factors in patients who demand surgical removal or modification of parts of their bodies without an obvious cause is discussed.

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