The plastic surgeons at Atlanta Plastic Surgery always caution minor patients to thoroughly evaluate their motivation to pursue any cosmetic surgery procedure. It’s important to remember that surgery results, like the emotional effects of bullying, last forever. Earlier this month, ABC’s Good Morning America featured Elizabeth Hasselbeck co-host of The View, reporting on teenagers who sought plastic surgery to keep them from being bullied at school. According to the report, 1 in 5 high school students are bullied every year, and 1 in 20 students skip school to avoid bullying. The teens that pursued plastic surgery for this reason were often bullied because of some physical attribute.
Hasselback highlighted three young women whose bullying motivated them to seek surgical correction. Erica Morgo was teased so badly about the size of her nose during the sixth grade that she missed about a month’s worth of class. As her depression grew, Morgo decided to take matters into her own hands by trying to break her own nose. After watching her daughter fight this battle for 3 years, her mom decided to allow her to have rhinoplasty surgery when she turned 15. Waiting until a teenager has reached maturity is integral with plastic surgery, especially facial procedures. If the body is altered while growing, later physical changes may affect results and complications may later arise.
Heeding the above advice Michelle Martin, who was constantly teased about her small breast size, waited until she was 19 to undergo her long-desired breast augmentation procedure. Martin, who meticulously researched her prospective breast enhancement, said the pain and scars from surgery were easier to bear than the teasing she endured during high school.
Also appearing on the show was child psychiatrist, Dr. Ned Hallowell. Like Atlanta Plastics’ surgeons, Dr. Hallowell dislikes the idea of teens undergoing plastic surgery to cope with bullying, and instead suggests teens seek counseling to manage the emotional implications of teasing. If a teen and their care team still deems cosmetic surgery the appropriate route, Dr. Hallowell suggests the patient wait until adulthood. The surgeons at Atlanta Plastic Surgery frequently perform surgery on children for reconstructive purposes, but prefer to reserve cosmetic procedures for those who are physically and emotionally mature. Dr. Hallowell also emphasizes the importance of teens and parents thoroughly balancing the risks and benefits of plastic surgery: good advice for anyone considering plastic surgery.
According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), the top five most popular cosmetic surgeries among those teens who do elect to have surgery are: rhinoplasty (nose surgery), breast reduction (to remedy macromastia), breast asymmetry correction (breast augmentation), male breast reduction (to correct gynecomastia), and chin augmentation (facial implants). ASAPS suggests that parents of teens considering plastic surgery evaluate their child’s physical maturity, investigate emotional maturity and expectations, find a plastic surgeon, and consider risks along with expected recovery times in preparation for cosmetic surgery.
The surgeons at Atlanta Plastic Surgery have performed procedures on patients of all ages, but are particularly careful to ensure younger patients seeking surgery for aesthetic purposes are physically, mentally, and emotionally ready for the desired procedures. Our surgeons are sure to discuss procedures in detail with both the parents and children during a consultation. For more information on teens and plastic surgery, or other plastic surgery procedures performed at Atlanta Plastic Surgery, visit our website.