Teens and plastic surgery
Guest post by Laura Liu
Many dads (parents) these days are confronted with a situation where their teenage daughter or son wants to get some plastic surgery done. So how do you deal with that as a parent? Just saying “no” categorically or yes (i.e. “do whatever you want, it’s your body”) may not be the answer. It’s important to explore this topic with them and it’s probably the parent who needs to drive this. E.g. teenagers don’t tend to take into consideration the risks that go along with surgery, or long term outcomes for that matter. The expense of cosmetic and plastic surgeries are not covered by insurance – so cost might be another issue. Also, a teenager’s body is still in development so surgery is quite a drastic way to alter appearances that may still change anyway. Then there is the risk that the surgery doesn’t deliver expected results which could have dramatic impacts on self esteem and confidence.
Plastic Surgery / cosmetic surgery is actually a general term that covers a range of techniques and application areas such as aesthetic surgery, reconstructive surgery, microsurgery, and the treatment of burns. The most common surgeries in the US include being breast augmentation, liposuction and abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”).
Breast augmentation has been widely discussed but there is a bit of a myth that other procedures such as liposuction are “not a big deal”. Liposuction covers the removal of fat from many different sites on the human body (such as abdomen, thighs and buttocks, etc). This procedure can be performed under local or general anesthetic with safety of the technique varying widely depending on many factors such as the choice of anesthetic and overall health. An alternative option might be to try regular exercise and a change of diet first. Teens need to be made aware of general risks of surgery as well as the recovery time which could take weeks or months. Laser liposuction or laser assisted liposuction is not as intense, but the effectiveness of this technique is still debated. Laser liposuction is typically only used for small areas of fat deposits.
There are no hard and fast rules to say when any of the techniques should or should not be considered. If your teenager has some type of deformity, they can potentially benefit from cosmetic surgery. However many perceived body issues can also be addressed through other options. Finally, if you and your teenager consider elective surgery it is important to get a board certified plastic surgeon.
Guest post by Laura Liu