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 Canada.com. 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.