Teen Plastic Surgery

Teen Plastic Surgery Is A Very Real Concern

When you picture someone getting plastic surgery, you may think of someone who wants to change their appearance, whether from a crooked nose, loose skin after weight loss or even someone who wants to trim down their tummy or thighs. Each time we picture them, we think of adult men and women. However, not many of us actually realize that teens are wanting to have plastic surgery.

What Causes Teen Plastic Surgery?

Sure, we as adults have been through middle school and high school. Many of us had an amazing time, and excelled in our grades as well as our social lives. Yet many others recall a much darker time, full of bullying and teasing, staring at ourselves in the mirror and hearing all the insults over and over again while wondering why we just can’t change what we don’t like about ourselves – what others don’t like – to feel confident and feel like we fit in again. This can lead to some very sad, emotional times in a person as they grow, times that are supposed to be spent happy and excited. However, bullying and taunting from other children throughout school isn’t the only reason teen plastic surgery is on the rise.

Peer Pressure In the Parents

Parents just want what is best for their children, and when they see their child hurting, suffering from a low self esteem, they want to help as much as they can. Sometimes they turn to other parents or the internet to find ideas to help their children cope, which can lead to peer pressure about teen plastic surgery. Unfortunately, many may think that if your child doesn’t like a feature of theirs they should “fix it.” Long gone are the times of telling young people to love themselves for who they are, and the increasing ability to access nearly any information wanted can even lead your own teen to read about and ask for plastic surgery to make themselves feel better.


As plastic surgery grew in popularity, it became more and more common for celebrities to have body recontouring surgeries. Then came the rise of social media, and everybody’s lives were suddenly out in the open, including real (and fake!) social media accounts for the famous. Through these accounts as well as through television, movies, magazines and other media, we are exposed daily to the personal choices, whether good or bad, relationships and lifestyles of those we look up to.

When our idols change the way they look on what seems like a monthly basis, our younger generation who idolizes them so much (and whose opinions are more easily swayed based on their emotions) then feels that it isn’t a big deal to undergo the knife to change small imperfections they are teased about or that they resent. As we age and mature, we are able to make decisions that are based on knowledge and experience instead of emotions and cravings, making teen plastic surgery something that should only be done when medically necessary.

Not Enough Knowledge

When you are faced with peer pressure from your friends, family and own child, it can be pretty overwhelming, making it seem like having your teen undergo plastic surgery the easier and less complicated way to make your child happy again. As a parent of a teen struggling with self esteem, it is imperative to help your child understand that no matter how they look, bullies are always going to find something to tease them about. It is a never ending cycle. It may be a good option for some to even seek counseling, as they could actually be suffering from a very real illness called depression, something that no amount of plastic surgery can cure. It cannot be stressed enough that if you do not know the statistics and the facts of teen plastic surgery as well as basic knowledge of why it is rarely the best option, you could be putting you and your teen through even more emotional trauma by trying to find a surgeon to work on your son or daughter than you may realize.


Dr. Bartell’s Take On Teen Plastic Surgery

Dr. Bartell has turned away many teens and their families because he is able to tell the difference between low self esteem and a medically necessary procedure. “I would only operate on teenagers under fairly extraordinary circumstances,” he states. There are many operations that children and teens can discuss with their parents that can improve the quality of their lives, such as surgery to correct a cleft palate or other medical issues they were born with. But when the decision to change their appearance is solely based on cosmetics, there aren’t many quality surgeons who will agree to teen plastic surgery.

Success Stories Are Possible, But Only When Surgery Is the Only Option

Each case is individual, though. “Obviously, nearly all of the teen plastic surgery I have performed has been breast augmentations on females who are suffering from back issues due to their breast size. I can recall one young high school student who was a ballet dancer. She had fairly large breasts which constantly got in her way and threw off her performance and were hurting her back,” recalled Dr. Bartell. “She also revealed that the males in the school (both students and, sadly, teachers) would always be staring at her chest. I performed a reduction for her that ended up helping her with all of the problems she was experiencing.”

Teens and Parents Must Listen To Their Doctor’s Advice

No matter what the reason your child is asking for teen plastic surgery, you must listen to your doctors. Make the time to schedule consultation appointments with not only Dr. Bartell to discuss your teen’s needs, but first schedule appointments with your child’s regular doctor and quite possibly an initial appointment with a psychologist. Listen to the information and suggestions they both make, write them down, and then bring them to your consultation with Dr. Bartell. At your appointment with us, Dr. Bartell will go over the information you brought with, speak to your teen to listen to their needs, and speak with the family members present as well. Whether or not your teen needs body recontouring surgery for a medical reason or a few sessions of talk therapy with the school psychologist (or one of your own as well), as their parent you must be there emotionally for your teen. They are going through a rough period, true, but by being open and honest with them, showing them you are making time for appointments and even just to talk to them about their problems can make a world of difference.