When Is It OK for Teens to Get Plastic Surgery?

Filed under: Opinions, Social & Emotional Growth: Tweens, Social & Emotional Growth: Teens

In the face of bullying, teasing and low self-esteem, some teens are turning to plastic surgery to help them fit in. The "Today" show profiles three teens who went under the knife and discusses what parents should do before letting their child get a cosmetic procedure:


Plastic surgeons with teen patients recommend at least four sessions with a therapist before approving surgery, "Today" reports.

Psychiatrist Dr. Charles Sophy says it's not always a physical issue that's driving a teen to pursue a change. "There may be other things that aren't working, that are driving the need for the surgery," he says
According to "Today," the number of teens who have gotten a cosmetic procedure has doubled in the past eight years

"It's no different than kids getting braces for crooked teeth," says plastic surgeon Dr. Sam Rizk, who performed rhinoplasty on one of the profiled teens when she was 15, of cosmetic procedures. He adds that it's important he know a teen's motivation for getting surgery before performing the procedure.

Sophy cautions parents to ensure that their kids know surgery isn't a cure-all.

"Mom and Dad, please be sure that your adolescent or teen is aware that this is not a coping skill, that every time we feel uncomfortable about ourselves, then we go out and get surgery, because that's how we begin a huge line of problems," Sophy says.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.