Two psychologically disturbed men each paid to have a healthy leg amputated, even though nothing was physically wrong with them, a private hospital in Scotland said Monday.
The revelation prompted one lawmaker to call for an investigation by Scotland's Health Ministry.
But the doctor who performed the surgery said the amputations were approved by the medical director of the National Health Service Trust.
Dr. Robert Smith has had six other similar requests, including one from a person in the United States that was rejected last year.
"I have no doubt that what I was doing was the correct thing for those patients," Smith told reporters in Falkirk, northeast of Glasgow. "It took me a year and a half to pluck up the courage to do the first one, but it is probably one of the most satisfying operations I have ever done."
The patients, one British and one German, suffered from a psychological condition called body dysmorphic disorder, in which patients focus on a perceived imperfection that they find overwhelming.