Plastic surgery in the U.S. is not something to be taken lightly. In New York, Dr. Leonard Grossman has treated young patients, but there is a certain point that unless a minor was involved in an accident with loss of function or suffering from a disfigurement, he won’t perform a treatment that is unnecessary.
There’s a reason why patients have to be at least 18 years old in order to undergo cosmetic enhancement in the United States, but patients are becoming younger and younger, and sources say that bullies may be to blame.
Though children don’t suffer from self-consciousness at a young age, kids these days are developing a skewed idea of what they look like because of their peers. Bullying at schools, playgrounds and even in public places is getting out of hand, causing kids to feel bad about themselves – both emotionally and physically.
According to Dr. Frederick Lukash, who specializes in operations for children and teens, the issue is getting out of hand. Before performing a surgical procedure on his young patients, he asks them to draw a picture of how they see themselves. What he finds is shocking.
Many children draw sad, ugly portraits of themselves. Most of these kids are being bullied in real life, which suggests that these same kids who are feeling down about themselves may either try to get plastic surgery while underage or may seek surgery as adults. Feelings of unworthiness can linger throughout a lifetime, and that’s not what plastic surgery is about.
We see many young patients turning to surgery to fix problems that are only visible to themselves. Take actress Amanda Bynes, for example. The 27-year-old has already had at least four nose surgeries to correct what she believes is “webbing” around her eyes near the bridge of her nose.
Bynes keeps coming back for more surgery, and at this point, her surgeon should refuse her. When a patient appears to become obsessed with plastic surgery, there’s usually an underlying problem that needs to be addressed – a problem surgery won’t fix, no matter how many procedures the individual gets.
The American Society for Plastic Surgeons reports that the number of cosmetic procedures for children is up, but is that a good thing?
Cosmetic surgery can be life changing for adults. There’s no denying that procedures like liposuction and Rhinoplasty can completely change an individual’s life for the better. But the issue here stems from the fact that kids should not be focusing on their image. They should be out playing and enjoying their childhood while it lasts.
Bullying is the greater problem at hand, but sadly, there’s not much that is being done about it. It’s important to make sure children’s sense of self-worth is preserved so they don’t go into adulthood feeling as though they need excessive plastic surgery to feel good about themselves.
Likewise, any experienced cosmetic surgeon should refuse a child patient unless they are dealing with a medical problem correctable by surgery or a disfigurement. The youngest patient should never be under the age of 17 because kids tend to change their minds a lot. A 13-year-old who is unhappy with their small breasts may be tempted to get augmentation surgery at 18, but may just be a late bloomer. Patience is important when getting surgery, and anyone thinking of undergoing a treatment should be completely certain it’s what they want so they don’t end up regretting it.