The Surgeon Minute

Plastic Surgery a Growing Trend Among Teens

Plastic Surgery a Growing Trend Among Teens

Plastic surgery is increasingly pervasive in young Hollywood, and a growing number of American teens are eager to follow suit. But, letting teenagers alter their appearance for purely cosmetic reasons is usually unwise.

teens choosing plastic surgerySurrounded by images in magazines, movies and on TV of preternaturally perfect young actors and models, a growing number of American teenagers say they want plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons. But, Dr. Lane Smith cautions that caving to such requests can be very unwise.

“The plastic surgery society, and myself, frown on this in many ways,” says Dr. Smith, a board certified plastic surgeon practicing in Las Vegas. “There are many problems with this trend. Initially, if you ask 15-year-old girls if they are happy with their body, 80 to 90 percent of them are unhappy with their body. But if you ask college students, you’ll find that 80 to 90 percent of college students are happy with their body.”

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Reconstructive plastic surgery to address a birth defect or repair injury trauma is a different matter. In those cases, Dr. Smith says, teens — and even children — should have surgery as soon as possible. But, he added that a cosmetic plastic surgery request from anyone younger than 18 should only be granted if it is clear that the procedure would help undo psychological damage.

For example, if a young person is suffering a considerable amount of emotional stress or taunting from peers because of a particular feature — say, an overly large nose that goes beyond building character to looking simply cartoonish — then having it fixed through cosmetic surgery can be easy to justify. By and large, however, time is the best medicine. And, one reason the age of consent for plastic surgery is 18 is that often, younger patients haven’t finished growing.

“Many times, patients who think they are unhappy with something will either physically change – they’ll grow – or they will become comfortable in their own skin, so to speak,” Smith says.


Plastic Surgery for Teens Often Misguided

Ear Pinning Surgery Boosts Self-Esteem for Kids

Click to add a comment
The Surgeon Minute

More in The Surgeon Minute

Breast augmentation with fat grafting.

Breast Augmentation with Fat Grafting

Katherine StuartMarch 30, 2017
Breast implant choices.

3D Imaging Will Help with Breast Implant Choices

Katherine StuartMarch 28, 2017
The short scar MACS facelift.

Shortening the Scar with an MACS Facelift

Adam McMillonMarch 24, 2017
Cellfina: A Real Solution to Cellulite with No Surgery

Cellfina: A Real Solution to Cellulite with No Surgery

Katherine StuartMarch 22, 2017
What an implant can't fix.

What An Implant Can’t Fix

Isabel BoltMarch 15, 2017
Rhinoplasty:  A matter of time, expertise and vision

Rhinoplasty: A Matter of Time, Expertise and Vision

Isabel BoltMarch 13, 2017
Hair transplantation with NeoGraft.

NeoGraft: Advanced Hair Transplantation Technology

Isabel BoltMarch 9, 2017
Breast implant removal.

Breast Implant Removal Options

Anne MeyerMarch 8, 2017
Breast surgery for the transgender patient.

Breast Surgery for the Transgender Patient

Anne MeyerMarch 2, 2017