There is still a heated debate about whether teenagers should be permitted to undergo plastic surgery after their parent's permission, but children the age of 18 may also be at risk for the dangers associated with cosmetic enhancements.
The recent publication of the Hastings Center Report shows that more Asian children are undergoing medical procedures such as blepharoplasty, liposuction and breast enhancement so that they can imitate the 'Hollywood' ideal in the west. Asian eye surgery is one of the most requested procedures in this demographic, a procedure that changes the entire shape of the eye so that it has a a more almond-shaped appearance. Asian children who may have been adopted by U.S. -based parents may feel a sense of cultural shock or even be embarrassed by their looks; for many, cosmetic surgery helps to alleviate these stresses.
Experts contend that these types of enhancements are done for superficial reasons only; some children and teens may be suffering from low self-esteem because of their exotic appearance, and parents may approve the surgery to help the youngsters feel better about themselves.
Researchers also point out that children may suffer from a type of identity disorder if their real needs of acceptance are not addressed. Going against nature to enhance their appearance may do more harm than good; the same issue arises in cases of gender modification surgery.
Alice Dreger, a professor of medical humanities and bioethics at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern Univeristy explains that there is not enough evidence to indicate whether a child or teen may suffer from sever identity disorders throughout their life because of surgery. (Source: Medical News Today)
Changing one's natural appearance so drastically could have several negative ramifications throughout the patient's life, and may also interfere with their abilityto appreicate their own culture and heritage.
Still, statistics show that Asian children are much more likely to pursue plastic surgery to change their appearance. Ultimately, the decision lies in the hands of the parents, and the change may require some form of psychotherapy intervention or counseling to ensure the patient adjusts to their new look without taking away their sense of cultural identity.