We know teenage years are difficult and sympathize with kids feeling pressure to be perfect. But why complicate the already-tumultuous adolescent years with surgery???  Teens seek plastic surgery because they think it will ‘fix’ whatever is wrong with them. What teens don’t understand is plastic surgery won’t make you a different person, make people like you, or make you popular.

Parents: we don’t let adolescents drive, drink or vote because they aren’t mature enough to manage the responsibility. So why do we think they can make informed decisions about surgical procedures? Parents who consent to and pay for plastic surgery are sending kids the wrong message – that there’s something wrong with their child, and it needs to be fixed now.

Surgery carries risks. It’s painful. It leaves scars. Breast augmentation or reduction can result in never being able to breast feed. My advice as a doctor is wait. Work on building positive self-esteem, not scheduling surgery. Remember, plastic surgery isn’t easily reversible. Let’s help teens improve in ways that don’t involve conforming to what’s “beautiful” now, but what’s beautiful within.

Jennifer Holmgren, DO
MVP Kids Care, Phoenix, AZ