Feature Archive

Is Plastic Surgery a Teen Thing?

For some teens, plastic surgery can be a godsend. But it has to be for the right reasons.

By Denise Mann
WebMD Feature

Reviewed By Michael Smith

Emily was always made fun of for her rather large nose. Then the summer before her senior year of high school, she got a nose job. All of a sudden, the same boys who called her Pinocchio and some other not-so-nice names were asking her out.

Sixteen-year-old Kimberly's triple D breasts may have gotten the boy's attention, but they made exercise -- and even walking -- painful. But a breast reduction has changed her life. Now she can exercise freely -- even jog without the back and neck pain that her large breasts once caused.

For teens like Emily and Kimberly, cosmetic surgery can be a godsend. But for others such as those who are urged by their parents, it may be ill-advised, prominent plastic surgeons tell WebMD. The key is making sure that the teen is emotionally and physically mature enough to undergo the chosen procedure.

Chemical Peels to Liposuction

For a whole slew of reasons -- from its relative safety to its acceptance in society -- plastic surgery is popular among people of all ages. The number of kids 18 and under having plastic surgery rose from just under 60,000 in 1997 to nearly 225,000 in 2003, according to statistics compiled by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.