Plastic Surgery for Teens - A Quick Fix for Bad Body Image?

Low self-esteem and a poor body image can be the bane of existence for many teenagers going through puberty, and recent studies show that many are pursuing plastic and cosmetic surgery to simply feel better about themselves.

Teenagers account for 5 percent of all procedures, according to this report from Reuters and  The The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) also indicates a total of 87,600 surgical operations performed on 13-19 year olds in 2007; top procedures include breast reduction, breast augmentation, nose reshaping (rhinoplasty) and breast lifts.

Diana Zuckerman, Ph.D. discusses several issues and risks associated with plastic surgery in a developing teen, and encourages adolescents to learn about the serious complications associated with plastic and cosmetic surgery, and help them understand that their bodies will continue to change and develop as the years go by.  Breast augmentation, liposuction and other cosmetic procedures may not provide the results that many teens are looking for, and there can be serious complications for years to come.

The recent incident of a Florida teen who died after complications from her breast asymmetry surgery have put this issue into the forefront of many parents of teens considering cosmetic procedures to improve their looks.

Some experts and social scientists suggest that a poor body image is  linked to the media's idealization of a 'perfect silhouette' and the importance of appearance in today's society.  Teens that become preoccupied with their appearance are at risk for eating disorders, depression and poor body image. While lastic surgery seems like the 'magical fix' for many, it may still be a risky decision.

Further Reading

  • Motivated by his wife and kids, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who once called himself “the healthiest fat guy you’ve ever seen”, disclosed Tuesday he secretly underwent Gastric Banding (Lap Band Surgery) on February 16, 2013, performed by Dr. George Fielding, head of NYU Medical Center’s Weight Management Program.

  • With bathing suit season right around the corner, plastic surgeons across the country are finding more women are booking up appointments for body contouring and breast augmentation procedures. Dr. Michael Niccole, founder and medical director of CosmetiCare Plastic Surgery Center and MedSpa in Newport Beach, and one of the “Top Plastic Surgeons in America”, reports that his appointment books are full, with a high demand for breast implants, skin tightening procedures and body contouring procedures to help women lose a few inches around the hips and thighs.

  • Sound Surgical Technologies, the company behind Vaser Liposelection the Vaser ultrasound device, has developed the VaserShape system, a non-surgical device that helps reduce cellulite and inches in certain areas of the body. The VaserShape device is a non-invasive body contouring system powered by ultrasonic laser. The device is designed to disrupt fat cells beneath the skin by delivering ultrasound energy deep into the skin’s tissues.