Plastic surgery has always been a controversial subject. While many women and men agree that there is a lot of benefit to having plastic surgery procedures available, especially as safety improves, there is also the underlying question of who should get plastic surgery because it will really benefit their lives, and who is only getting plastic surgery so they can avoid underlying psychological issues.
Great plastic surgeons always talk to each and every patient and only work with those that will truly benefit from their plastic surgery procedures. Yet this story made the news again recently, as a report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons indicated that as many as 63,000 teens received plastic surgery in 2014 alone, many of whom were under the age of 18, with some as young as 13 years old.
The Complexity of Teen Plastic Surgery and Social Pressure
There is no denying that teens are under more pressure now to be confident in their appearance, especially in a world of selfies and snapchats, where teens are constantly showing off their faces and appearance to the world. On the other hand, not all teens have grown into their bodies, and it’s important to teach young people that your appearance should not be the most important tool for high self-esteem – at least until they have had time to adjust psychologically.
There is considerable evidence that teens that struggle with their appearance in high school can end up with depression and stress as they get older, and so theoretically plastic surgery can help reduce this stress. Yet how appropriate is it to give plastic surgery to an age group that is nowhere close to emotional maturity?
Looking at Teen Plastic Surgery Trends
Unfortunately, this is a question that remains difficult to answer. One of the factors to look for is plastic surgery trends, and here we see evidence that the issues that are being addressed often have some emotional and psychological benefits for the teens. The most common surgeries include:
- Nose Job (Rhinoplasty)
- Breast Augmentation (Breast Implants)
- Male Breast Reduction
- Ear Surgeries
On a case by case basis, it’s easy to see why these plastic surgery procedures may be beneficial. Large or misshapen noses can receive a lot of negative attention not only as a teen but also as an adult. Similarly, issues like “elf ears” can also bring about self-esteem problems. Breast implants are a little trickier, but it’s also easy to empathize with someone that feels teased or low confidence due to a flat chest. And breasts in young men can be traumatic, especially in public locker rooms.
In the end, there is no right or wrong answer. While parents should continue to teach their kids the importance of high self-esteem regardless of their appearance, and both parents and plastic surgeons like Dr. Agha should remain vigilant about the emotional maturity of the teen getting the plastic surgery completed and how beneficial it is to their long term mental wellness, there are also going to be many teens that genuinely benefit from plastic surgery in a way that can improve their development as they get older.
If you or your teen has been interested in plastic surgery and you would like a consultation to decide whether or not it is the right decision, contact us today at 949-407-5482. Dr. Agha is one of the most trustworthy surgeons in Orange County and Los Angeles and is available to help discuss you or your teen’s needs.