ASAPS Reports Number of Youth Seeking Plastic Surgery Tripled in 10 Years

teenagerMommy makeovers, body lifts for seniors and an increasing demand for male plastic surgery procedures were some of the top cosmetic surgery trends in 2008, but there is one segment of the population that may soon be driving demand for many sought-after procedures.

Teenagers anxious to improve their looks are setting their sights on liposuction, body sculpting and other extensive cosmetic procedures at an alarming rate.

The American Society for Plastic Surgery reports that over 205,000 procedures were performed on individuals 18 years or younger in 2007, a dramatic increase from the 59,000+ procedures performed on youth in 1997.  The most sought-after procedures were liposuction and breast augmentation, and the months preceding Spring Break season seem to be the 'peak season' for teenage cosmetic surgery.

The New York Times recently reported on the rising trend, highlighting the fact that skin care regimens and body sculpting treatments once reserved for adults are making their way onto the average teenager's wishlist.  Self-esteem seems to be the trigger for this increasing demand, and teenagers who are especially vulnerable to low self-esteem and becoming preoccupied with their appearance may be the first to latch onto the latest cosmetic procedure.

Corrective surgery is understandable for those who have experienced an injury or want to correct a deformity; however, surgeons conducting the consultation need to ask specific questions to find out if the if the procedure is being performed strictly to boost self-esteem.  If the patient is under 18 years of age, the parents play an influential role in the process; they must approve the surgery and sign consent forms after meeting with the doctor in person.

Still, many parents are approving cosmetic procedures such as breast implants, liposuction and body contouring for their teens, even if it is to give the teenager's self-esteem a boost.  Dr. Rick Nauert, senior news editor of explains that recipients of elective procedures do report several positive psychological benefits after undergoing surgery solely for cosmetic procedures. (Source:

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