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Plastic Surgery Among Teenagers

By: Dr. Christopher Khorsandi


With the growing popularity of photo-oriented social media outlets, along with a rise in teenage bullying, it is not surprising that teenagers are growing ever more conscious of how they look. When teenagers log onto their Twitter or Instagram accounts, they are inundated with selfies of everyone from their high school classmates to celebrities like Kim Kardashian. Seeing so many seemingly perfect bodies can often make young women feel self- conscious about their own appearances. As a result, many young women are seeking the help of a plastic surgeon in an effort to look their best and feel confident.

Breast augmentation surgery is becoming a popular request among graduating high school seniors. Many young women want a makeover before beginning college in the fall. The advantages of this are clear. By having the surgery before college, the drastic effect will not be as noticeable, and the new people one encounters will not have known any different.

However, some experts warn that women as young as seventeen or eighteen might not be psychologically or emotionally ready for the commitment of a surgery that could need replacing every decade. Teenagers cannot always imagine future consequences, and breast implants often have to be replaced every ten to fifteen years. Moreover, young women might not be undergoing the surgery for the right reasons. They might be making this choice out of desire to please a love interest. They could even have an underlying psychological problem such as Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Because they are exposed to so many airbrushed photographs of celebrities, they might also have unrealistic expectations about the results of a breast augmentation.

Only a board-certified plastic surgeon can decide whether a teenager is a good candidate for the surgery. Typically, a physician will consult the prospective patient prior to surgery to decide if she has realistic expectations and is making the best choice for her. Plastic surgery among teens still accounts for a relatively low percentage of procedures. Of the over three hundred thousand breast augmentations performed in 2013, only a little over one percent of them were performed on patients under eighteen years old.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.