Why Teens Get Cosmetic Plastic Surgery
Which Surgeries Are Most Popular?
ASPS's 2009 statistics reveal that four of the five top cosmetic surgery procedures performed on 13- to 19-year-olds were nose jobs, male breast reduction, ear pinning and liposuction. Statistics for breast augmentation, a fifth top teen cosmetic surgery procedure, are reported only for 18- to 19-year-olds because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not approve cosmetic saline implants for women under 18.
Are Teens Making a Sound Choice?
Taken at face value, these procedures may appear benign enough. But only if a teen's motivation for having the procedure is rooted in sound psychological reasoning. Parents should be sure their teen's desire for cosmetic surgery isn't associated with a psychological problem that requires professional counseling.
According to an article by Diana Zuckerman, Ph.D., published at breastplantinfo.org, research indicates that breast augmentation patients are four times more likely to commit suicide than other plastic surgery patients, raising questions about the mental health of women who want implants. Liposuction poses another concern because of its association with eating disorders.
The ASPS believes the most rewarding outcomes occur when the teen (as opposed to a parent) initiates the request and has realistic goals and sufficient maturity. The ASPS does not recommend cosmetic surgery for teens who are prone to mood swings or erratic behavior, who abuse drugs and/or alcohol, or who are being treated for mental illness.
Should Teens Be Encouraged To Wait?
According to KidsHealth®:
- Much of the self-consciousness teens experience about their bodies dissipates over time.
- Teens' bodies are still changing and may change for the better without surgery.
- Surgery performed before a teen's body has matured may look out of place after the body changes.
- Overweight teens should try slimming down through diet and exercise before resorting to liposuction, which can pose medical risks.
For more information visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), breastplantinfo.org and KidsHealth®.