Teenage Girls and Plastic Surgery

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Mr. Archer
English 11 AP
1 April 2011
Underage Girls Going Under the Knife
Should teenage girls under the age of eighteen be allowed to undergo plastic surgery? According to recent statistics, rhinoplasty was performed on nearly 35,000 patients between the ages of thirteen and nineteen in 2009.  The procedure accounted for nearly fifty percent of all cosmetic surgical procedures performed on this age group. If all cosmetic procedures like chemical peels, Microdermabrasion and Botox are included, the number shoots up to 336,000--up over fifty percent in one year. Reconstructive procedures correct defects on the face or body. These include physical birth defects like cleft lips and palates and ear deformities, traumatic injuries like those from dog bites or burns, or the aftermath of disease treatments like rebuilding a woman's breast after surgery for breast cancer. Cosmetic procedures alter a part of the body that the person is not satisfied with. Common cosmetic procedures include making the breasts larger (augmentation mammoplasty) or smaller (reduction mammoplasty), reshaping the nose (rhinoplasty), and removing pockets of fat from specific spots on the body (liposuction). Some cosmetic procedures are not even surgical in the way that most people think of surgery — that is, cutting and stitching. For example, the use of special lasers to remove unwanted hair and sanding skin to improve severe scarring are two such treatments. Some teens want plastic surgery so badly that they will travel all the way to New Zeeland to get it. Breast augmentation costs about $5,500, with around $2,000 travel in New Zeeland. While in America a breast augmentation can cost up to $13,000. (Fertman-Ryan). There are many people who object to this topic and believe teenage girls should not be allowed to undergo plastic surgery if they are under the age of eighteen. There are many risks that come along with plastic surgery that can put teenage girls in danger. Plastic surgery can cause permanent numbness, infections, blood clots, and even death. Doctors urge teens to avoid plastic surgery during this time of development. Recovery from plastic surgery is far more painful than what is seen in a one hour show, and the operations involve life and death risks--with no "body- back" guarantees. Dimples, puckers and other irregularities can happen because of a doctor's error, or an allergic reaction can happen within the body. These irregularities can be permanent and can be an unwanted flaw for life. The anesthesia dangers include blood clots, heart attacks, brain damage, stroke, and even death. There is also risk of scars not healing, so teens could end up having a disfigurement due to the plastic surgery (Fertman-Ryan). Some teens have in mind an unattainable image that will leave them never satisfied. “Sometimes teens see something that isn't there, some imperfection that isn't real," said Dr. Kenneth Arthur of the Cosmetic Surgery Center (Cassidy). Teens are usually trying to solve a deeper issue, like low self esteem or not fitting in. Those problems usually cannot be solved by changing ones appearance (Fertman-Ryan). "The problem with a casual attitude toward cosmetic surgery is that it can lead to never feeling satisfied with one's physical appearance," said Fugen Neziroglu of the Bio-Behavioral Institute (Sinco-Kelleher). During the teenage years, girls are still growing and have not matured emotionally, physically, or mentally. Teenage brains are very impulsive and it is not a good time in life to make a permanent decision. Breasts do not fully developed until around age seventeen. If teens get implants when they are young, they could end up with unexpectedly large breasts by the time they are a college freshman. During the teenagers years girls are still depositing fat. Many changes seen with liposuction will be reversed with time (Jones).

Teenagers should not have to feel that they need to look like the few girls in the media that...
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