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Plastic Surgery Is Up Among Youths

In 2010, doctors performed nearly 219,000 cosmetic surgeries on those between the ages of 13-19, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Those elective surgeries included:

  • Rhinoplasty (nose reshaping) for more than 35,000

  • Otoplasty (ear surgery) for more than 8,700

  • Breast augmentations for nearly 8,500 patients aged 18-19

  • Breast reduction for more than 4,600 patients aged 13-19

Teens tend to have plastic surgery to fit in with peers while adults tend to have plastic surgery to stand out from others. Teens can gain self-esteem and confidence when what they view as physical problems are fixed.

But plastic surgery is not for every youth. For some procedures, the child must reach milestones in age, growth and physical maturity. Also, most reputable surgeons won't operate unless the child shows emotional maturity and has sensible expectations.

Teens and parents need to keep in mind that plastic surgery is real surgery. While there can be great benefits, it also carries some risks.