The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that teen surgeries have doubled in the last eight years, with more teenagers undergoing surgeries including breast augmentation, rhinoplasty and liposuction to improve their appearance.
In the United States, all patients under 18 years of age must have permission from their parents or guardians before undergoing surgery. Many parents are giving their teens the go ahead to go under the knife.
In recent years, a record number of teens in North America are still considering or undergoing cosmetic surgery, reports the Globe and Mail. Many teens are influenced by the media and celebrities, and plastic surgery offers an option to boost self-esteem for many, and the idea of altering their bodies purely for cosmetic reasons seems to have appeal for a growing number of teens in the United States.
For many teenagers, peer pressure and cultural influences play a role in whether the teen decides to undergo surgery. While all teenagers must undergo a face-to-face consultation with the plastic surgeon to ensure they have a healthy sense of self-esteem and realistic expectations about surgery, many surgeons are still performing surgery for the teen who simply wants to look better. Some surgeons do refuse to perform surgery if they believe the teen may be suffering from depression or they have unrealistic expectations about the outcome of their procedure.
Teenagers currently make up about 2 percent of all cosmetic surgery patients, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). In 2006 alone, the number of procedures performed on teens between 13 and 19 years of age was approximately 244,000, which included approximately 47,000 rhinoplasty procedures (nose jobs) and 9,000 breast augmentation procedures (breast implants).
Board-certified plastic surgeons do recommend a mental health screening to ensure the teenager is not suffering from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a condition where the individual believes they perceive defects and flaws that do not really exist.