Deciding to Have Plastic Surgery Tips

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Should teenagers have plastic surgery?

Teenage Cosmetic Surgery

Your parents totally won't let you get breast implants or liposuction. You feel fat and flat-chested. Meanwhile, one of your friends got a nose job for graduation. As it turns out, some plastic surgeons think certain types of facial plastic surgery are good for you, such as:

  • Rhinoplasty, a.k.a. nose jobs
  • Chin implants (you took one on the chin during volleyball and your face hasn't been right since)
  • Otoplasty--remember when your brother got his ears pinned back?
  • Breast reduction--your best friend had it done

Other plastic surgeons recommend against some types of comsetic plastic surgery, such as:
  • Liposuction--doctors think you'll lose that baby fat through natural growth and exercise
  • Breast implants--they interfere with normal development (which, you think, is the whole point, right?) Experts such as Dr. Diana Zuckerman of the National Research Center for Women & Families say many implants tend to fail within 7-12 years, so you and your parents will be stuck with a bill for implants that don't work, which means you'll all have to cut back on other spending. So much for that Spring Break trip in college.
  • Cheek implants--you might not see results right away, since you're probably too focused on your nose and waistline.

You're a mature sixteen, but the idea of leaks and complications makes you ill. You think though that facial plastic surgery sounds good. Now all you have to do is convince a plastic surgeon. As hard as this is to believe, you can actually benefit from bringing your parents to the cosmetic plastic surgery center. You can convince the plastic surgeon that, no, you're not influenced by the latest celebrity plastic surgery and that you genuinely think the procedure will help your health and welfare.

Be warned though: Most states require parental consent to cosmetic surgery if you're under 18, and many surgeons will scrutinize teen patients. Ask your friends and friends' parents, such as your pal who got the makeover graduation gift, about plastic surgery results. If your pal is happy with her looks and if she's responsible (student body president and the most organized kid you know), and if her parents keep it real, you have allies. One final word: If you're doing it to attract that guy who doesn't notice you, forget about cosmetic surgery. In fact, forget him and focus on your own life--your friends, your killer serve, your college admissions, that you're an awesome musician. Then find a guy who appreciates you just the way you are.

What are some of the risks and benefits of cosmetic surgery?

Risks and Benefits of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

Your pre-baby face and body seems like a distant dream. Or you were born with a chin and cheeks only a mother could love...since you inherited them from her. You want to have cosmetic plastic surgery, body sculpting plastic surgery, facial plastic surgery, celebrity plastic surgery...the whole works! But should you go crazy or just select a few procedures, e.g. tummy tuck, thigh lift, microdermabrasion, etc? Should you have plastic surgery at all? Some of the benefits include:

  • Increased confidence and sociability
  • Improved appearance if you've had an accident or trauma
  • Improved physical health as people become more active
  • That feeling of "I finally did something just for me" (it's about time, right?)
  • Looking better and feeling better Like any endeavor or major decision, plastic surgery involves risks.

The obvious glaring cosmetic surgery risk is that it won't work, that you'll be left with the same "you." (Maybe that's a sign!) Other risks include:
  • Physical complications
  • Problems stemming from disease, e.g. diabetes (think twice about getting cosmetic surgery if you have diabetes)
  • Evidence that you've had facial plastic surgery (it needs to be invisible to be effective)
  • Extreme changes in your appearance (too-large breasts or the famous "Catwoman" or "Barbie" cosmetic surgery)

Plastic surgeons and experts say that the benefits of cosmetic plastic surgery outweigh the risks. And remember, some people actually brag about their plastic surgeries, such as Joan Rivers ("I voted for 'Nip/Tuck' before it was even a show!") Now that takes confidence--the kind of moxie plastic surgery can bring.

Will cosmetic surgery help me feel better about myself?

Step Into My Office, Please

Walk into a plastic surgery center and you might feel as though you've stepped into a psychiatrist's office by mistake. Everyone from the receptionist to the nurse to the surgeon quizzes you about why you want plastic surgery. If your answer is "to feel better about myself," you may get a "thanks, but no thanks," or at least, more questions.

Some surgeons may give you the "beauty is from within" lecture as you glance at the before-and-after photos of celebrity plastic surgery. Hypocritical? Not really. If you've seen "Nip/Tuck," "The Swan," or "Dr. 90210," you know that we often have neuroses that the best plastic surgeon can't cure--and in several cases, some doctors would have done well to say "no" to cosmetic surgery. It's as plain as the nose that's not on Michael Jackson's face. We're not telling you to give up on cosmetic plastic surgery. Just ask yourself some questions before you go:

  • Am I doing this because someone else said, well-intentioned, that I'd look better?
  • Have I just been through a major life event/transition that makes me want a quick fix, e.g. a death, divorce, loss of a job, end of a relationship, children moving out, mid-life transition?
  • Am I just doing this because my favorite celebrity had it done?
  • Am I doing this to please my partner, or because I think I'll become instantly attractive?
  • Do I have unrealistic expectations of recovering my teenage face and body, or looking more mature (if I'm a teenager)?
  • Do I have health issues such as food addictions, sedentary lifestyle, depression/anxiety, unhealthy environment, or other lifestyle complications that need to be addressed before I think of having cosmetic surgery?
  • Have I shopped around, do I know the risks and the benefits of plastic surgery?
  • Do I trust my friends and family to give me honest feedback on whether or not my surgery improves my appearance and health?
  • Am I sure I want to do this?
  • Do I want to do this in combination with an already healthy lifestyle that involves eating right, exercising, managing stress, thinking positive and having a supportive network of family and friends?

Remember that your plastic surgery professional isn't God (even though some in the profession mistakenly make themselves out to be) or a licensed psychologist. He or she is a doctor trying to act in your best interest. You need to do that too before you even start looking at cosmetic plastic surgery procedures. Ask yourself all the questions your plastic surgeon will, and if you still feel positive about cosmetic surgery, go for it.

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Linda Handiak