Thursday, November 8th, 2018
Being a teenager is especially hard these day. Bullying is rampant. Peer pressure to conform is daunting. Social media and Hollywood do their best to make teens feel inadequate. Some teens believe that plastic surgery will help. That it will somehow change how they view themselves and how they are viewed by the world. Definitive, empirical studies examining the long-term benefits of cosmetic surgery in teens are few to none. However, body image does tend to improve as teens mature and their bodies naturally change.
More than 236,000 cosmetic procedures were performed in 2012 on patients between 13 and 19. More than 75,000 of those involved the nose, breast lifts and augmentation, liposuction, and tummy tucks. Few studies have examined the risks for teens of these surgeries and additional research is needed for the more controversial procedures such as breast implants, liposuction, and genital plastic surgery.
Surgeries such as those to correct cleft palates and lips, and prominent noses and ears, absolutely benefit children and youth; these are not considered controversial. But the cultural phenomena of surgical makeovers and the increasing pressures on teens to conform to unrealistic standards of beauty make it increasingly difficult to agree on what constitutes “normal.”
The teenage body is a work in progress, a major concern when it comes to plastic surgery on adolescents. As some girls mature, the need for breast implants may diminish. The FDA has approved saline breast implants for women 18 and older; silicone gel breast implants were approved by the FDA in 2006, but only for women 22 and older, reflecting the FDA’s concerns regarding the risks of implants, and the ability of teens to fully comprehend the risks. Teenagers are often oblivious to the well-documented long-term health consequences of tanning, smoking and other risky behaviors, and would likely pay less attention to the risks of cosmetic surgery.
Are you the parent of a teen who is requesting a cosmetic surgical procedure? If so, call and schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Buchanan to discuss your options: (828) 526-3783.