Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on January 29, 2010
While the millions of men and women between the ages of 18 and 35 that undergo plastic and cosmetic procedures each year have been deemed the “target market” for many plastic surgeons, a recent study reports that teenagers may soon be fueling some of the demand for popular procedures.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports that in 2008, more than 160,000 teens age 18 years or younger underwent some type of cosmetic surgery. The most popular procedures for this group included Botox injections, liposuction and breast augmentation. While these teens do need their parent’s permission to undergo plastic or cosmetic surgery, experts point out that many parents are fine with letting their teens have their procedure, and do understand the risks involved.
According to Donn Chatham, president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, “boomer parents may themselves even be undergoing cosmetic surgery and may feel for our children that it’s not a stretch.”
Popular procedures for baby boomers include anti aging treatments such as laser skin resurfacing and skin rejuvenation procedures, Botox injections and facial plastic surgery. Other in-demand procedures include breast implants, liposuction, skin tightening treatments and body lifts.
Still, many experts believe that plastic surgery for teenagers is often misguided and is a dangerous attempt to increase the teen’s self-esteem. Since many teenagers struggle with body image and self-esteem issues through their young adult years, “fixing” the problem with surgery alone isn’t necessarily the resolution. For many, counseling and support groups can help the teen increase their self-esteem by striving for things unrelated to their looks.
Experts say that much of this “demand” is driven by the media’s idea of perfection in both men and women, so it’s only natural that more teens would rather go under the knife to achieve the ideal. Unfortunately, this pressure to be perfect can also lead to a number of destructive behaviors.
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Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on November 15, 2009
A recent report from Girlguiding UK reveals that almost 50%of girls between the ages of 16 and 21 would consider having surgery to change the way they look. The findings indicate that more than one in ten girls between the ages of 11 and 16 would undergo gastric band or cosmetic surgery so that they could feel better about themselves, and researchers found a strong correlation between girls’ school achievement and their attitude toward their bodies.
According to the study, 43 percent of girls attending a secondary school whose performance was either good or outstanding would not consider plastic surgery, but a high percentage of girls who were getting satisfactory or poor grades would consider it.
Other research findings show that many young girls – especially those in the 11 to 16 year old age range – were simply not happy with their appearance, and that their self-esteem appeared to drop significantly during their teenage years. Some of the most common concerns about appearance of these young girls was to alter their teeth, improve their skin or hair, or make themselves thinner. Body shape was among the most important concerns for girls in this category, which is why gastric banding and other types of cosmetic surgery were considered to be a top priority for these young women.
The Girlguiding UK report concludes that, “Few girls up to the age of 16 consider using surgical methods to change their appearance, but once that becomes a genuine option at the age of 18, cosmetic surgery far outstrips all others as their procedure of choice…girls aged 16-21 demonstrate a high level of self-awareness when it comes to risky behaviors.” Even though many of these girls deal with issues surrounding alcohol, eating disorders and irresponsible sexual behavior, they are also often tackling issues surrounding their appearance and body image.
The full report from Girlsguiding UK can be found here.
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Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on June 25, 2009
Undergoing plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons has become the quick-fix solution for improving one’s looks, increasing self-confidence and even improving self-esteem. However, some experts believe that this quest for beauty is taking its toll on the teenage girl population in the United States, and may be putting the ‘pressure to be perfect’ on these girls at a very young age.
Dove recently conducted a study involving 1,000 girls living in the United States as part of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty in partnership with the Girl Scouts of America. According to the results of the “Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem”, more than 70 percent of girls between the ages of 8 and 17 believed that they “do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members.”
Some teens turn to their parents to help them pay for a cosmetic procedure so that they can feel better about themselves. However, many plastic surgeons don’t feel that this is an effective way to bolster self-esteem. Dr. Yan Trokel of the Yan Center for Corrective and Cosmetic Surgery recently interviewed with Lylah Alphnse of the Boston Globe, and states that “I would be reluctant to perform a surgery purely for aesthetic reasons, such as liposuction, without first having counseled them on necessary lifestyle changes such as improved diet and exercise to achieve optimal, long-lasting results… a surgeon should properly assess physical/anatomical and psychological maturity of a potential patient and discuss possible risks and side-effects before proceeding with any form of treatment/procedure.” (Source: Boston.com)
Teenage girls may not need to pursue cosmetic surgery, but focus instead on other areas of their lives where they can improve their self-esteem. This may include more time with family members, setting goals for their future and working towards them, and building healthy relationships with their peers.
Still, in today’s beauty-obsessed culture, it’s easy to see why many teens begin to believe that plastic or cosmetic surgery is the ultimate answer to their problems.
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Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on January 25, 2009
Mommy makeovers, body lifts for seniors and an increasing demand for male plastic surgery procedures were some of the top cosmetic surgery trends in 2008, but there is one segment of the population that may soon be driving demand for many sought-after procedures.
Teenagers anxious to improve their looks are setting their sights on liposuction, body sculpting and other extensive cosmetic procedures at an alarming rate.
The American Society for Plastic Surgery reports that over 205,000 procedures were performed on individuals 18 years or younger in 2007, a dramatic increase from the 59,000+ procedures performed on youth in 1997. The most sought-after procedures were liposuction and breast augmentation, and the months preceding Spring Break season seem to be the ‘peak season’ for teenage cosmetic surgery.
The New York Times recently reported on the rising trend, highlighting the fact that skin care regimens and body sculpting treatments once reserved for adults are making their way onto the average teenager’s wishlist. Self-esteem seems to be the trigger for this increasing demand, and teenagers who are especially vulnerable to low self-esteem and becoming preoccupied with their appearance may be the first to latch onto the latest cosmetic procedure.
Corrective surgery is understandable for those who have experienced an injury or want to correct a deformity; however, surgeons conducting the consultation need to ask specific questions to find out if the if the procedure is being performed strictly to boost self-esteem. If the patient is under 18 years of age, the parents play an influential role in the process; they must approve the surgery and sign consent forms after meeting with the doctor in person.
Still, many parents are approving cosmetic procedures such as breast implants, liposuction and body contouring for their teens, even if it is to give the teenager’s self-esteem a boost. Dr. Rick Nauert, senior news editor of PsychCentral.com explains that recipients of elective procedures do report several positive psychological benefits after undergoing surgery solely for cosmetic procedures. (Source: PsychCentral.com)
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Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on September 12, 2008
As the age bracket for plastic surgery continues to get lower and lower, more teens are jumping into the latest cosmetic and plastic surgery trends – and turning to credit cards to pay for their procedure.
Teenagers and college students are part of a rising target market for plastic surgery, especially since many battle feelings of low self-esteem and are unhappy with their appearance. Teen surgery represents 5 percent of all cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery statistics for 2007, and some plastic surgeons believe that many benefit from the procedure because they can finally feel like they ‘fit in.’
The Leader-Post recently published the story, “Teens Seek Plastic Surgery, Breast Jobs, to Fit In” and an interview with Dr. Frederick Lukash, a New York plastic surgeon who specializes in adolescent plastic surgery revealed the following:
“Sometimes, one hour for an operation and a few days to recover are better than a lifetime of psychoanalysis.”
The Leader-Post further explains that “Lukash, who combines surgery with psychiatry and art therapy, says a nip and tuck may be the kindest cut for teens who unlike adults, are mostly looking to fit in rather than stand out.” (Source: Leader-Post)
Since teenagers are too young to apply for cosmetic surgery financing or obtain a personal loan, credit cards are the next most obvious choice. Instead of worrying about funding a college education, paying rent and managing other financial responsibilities, are teenagers and college students setting themselves up for financial disaster?
Financial advisors seem to think so; many point out that even ‘no interest’ credit cards can incur fees when the introductory period is over, and the APR can shoot up within a few months. Popular cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures such as liposuction, breast augmentation and tummy tucks can cost upward of $5,000. Paying for the procedure with a personal credit card could mean paying a hefty price in interest charges – and carrying a large balance for years to come.
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Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on July 25, 2008
Low self-esteem and a poor body image can be the bane of existence for many teenagers going through puberty, and recent studies show that many are pursuing plastic and cosmetic surgery to simply feel better about themselves.
Teenagers account for 5 percent of all procedures, according to this report from Reuters and Canada.com. The The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) also indicates a total of 87,600 surgical operations performed on 13-19 year olds in 2007; top procedures include breast reduction, breast augmentation, nose reshaping (rhinoplasty) and breast lifts.
Diana Zuckerman, Ph.D. discusses several issues and risks associated with plastic surgery in a developing teen, and encourages adolescents to learn about the serious complications associated with plastic and cosmetic surgery, and help them understand that their bodies will continue to change and develop as the years go by. Breast augmentation, liposuction and other cosmetic procedures may not provide the results that many teens are looking for, and there can be serious complications for years to come.
The recent incident of a Florida teen who died after complications from her breast asymmetry surgery have put this issue into the forefront of many parents of teens considering cosmetic procedures to improve their looks.
Some experts and social scientists suggest that a poor body image is linked to the media’s idealization of a ‘perfect silhouette’ and the importance of appearance in today’s society. Teens that become preoccupied with their appearance are at risk for eating disorders, depression and poor body image. While lastic surgery seems like the ‘magical fix’ for many, it may still be a risky decision.
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