In late August, a prominent British cosmetic surgeon opened an ethical debate by revealing that he had carried out cosmetic surgery on teenage girls who had experienced bullying by classmates.The common perception is that teenagers want cosmetic surgery to look like celebrities, but the ones he operated on had been targeted for their appearance and they just wanted to look “normal.”
He admitted to performing a rhinoplasty on a girl who had been targeted by bullies at three different schools, whose parents had tried every other available method to stop the bullying. The procedure was performed before the girl started at her fourth school in an attempt to help her fit in. The procedure was successful, greatly increasing the girl’s confidence and leading to an end to the bullying.
The surgeon also said he had put expandable breast implants in teenagers who were not developing at the same rate as classmates and were being targeted by bullies. This is a more controversial procedure, and would not be legal in the United States, since saline breast implants are only approved by the FDA for use on patients 18 and older, while silicone breast implants are approved for patients aged 22 and older.
In response to the controversy, the doctor said, “You think about children whose ears stick out, it’s the same thing.Children are very cruel and there’s a lot of stigma attached to appearance.”Otoplasty, the surgical correction of prominent ears, is the only cosmetic procedure performed predominantly on children, with nearly 44 % of procedures being performed on patients aged 18 or less.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) both acknowledge the value of cosmetic surgery for teens seeking acceptance, although not everyone is comfortable with the idea. Whether cosmetic surgery might be acceptable in any given case depends on the individual circumstances of that case.
Cosmetic surgery has the power to transform your life and give you a level of confidence you had never thought possible. To learn more about how cosmetic surgery might help you, contact a board certified plastic surgeon to schedule a consultation.