Researchers Question If Teens Mature Enough to Choose Cosmetic Surgery

j0438733Rapid weight gain, acne and hormonal changes that trigger skin disorders often occur during puberty, and many teenagers develop a poor self image during this pivotal time.  Some turn to plastic and cosmetic surgery in hopes of ‘fixing’ their appearance but some researchers believe this could be detrimental to their emotional health and well-being.

While cosmetic and plastic surgeons require a parent or guardian’s consent to perform surgery on teenagers, many parents still give the go-ahead to their 13-18 year olds and may not understand the physical and emotional impact that their teen experiences.  Adolescents are often struggling with low self-esteem and still developing their self-image, and researchers believe these factors are significant when it comes to choosing plastic surgery. Many teens simply insist on going under the knife to correct their flaws – perceived or real.

According to, studies do show that teenagers begin to feel better naturally as they progress through adolescence, and the flaws that once bothered them tend to become less important.  Since teenagers are not physically mature until they reach the age of 16 or 18, making drastic changes to the body with cosmetic surgery can be dangerous.  Breast implants, liposuction and nose reshaping surgery may provide dramatic results, but the body is still changing and developing; once the teen has fully matured, the results can be very different.

Many teens are simply not emotionally mature enough to handle the consequences of surgery, and fail to realize that these procedures won’t eliminate real problems in their lives.

Dr. John Canedy, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, points out that surgery should never be a response to pressure from friends or family members.  Teenagers also need to understand all of the risks involved, and how any complications or side effects may play out in their daily lives.

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