Body confidence is becoming a growing issue amongst teenagers, though it isn’t a particularly new issue. In 2005, a survey reported that of the 2,000 teenagers interviewed, 40% had considered having plastic surgery. In the following decade the cosmetic surgery industry has boomed. In a report carried out by Sir Bruce Keogh in 2013, 41% of girls aged seven to 10 and 63% of girls ages 11 to 16 claimed that they felt pressure to look like a celebrity.
Though plastic surgery would be inappropriate for most young females, there are instances where the benefit would outweigh the risks. Examples of this would include correcting a cleft palette, or having a otoplasty to pin back protruding ears. But, as with adults, expectations must always be managed so that in these instances, so that the child isn’t left disappointed with the results. Anything more than fixing a disfigurement carries risks that can affect the child both emotionally and physically more than the original issues. Scarring after surgery can cause a particular problem, as the individual may feel that they are drawing more attention to themselves, becoming more self conscious.
The current guidelines in place to protect emotionally and psychologically vulnerable teenagers from having plastic surgery could be described as lax. The law states that anyone under the age of 18 cannot have surgery without parental consent, however there has reportedly been a lack of regulation in regards to this. With procedures now being performed by non qualified practitioners, such as dermal fillers, can we be assured that the necessary checks on age are being made? According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 236,356 procedures were carried out on 13 to 19 year olds in 2012 alone.
One suggestion that has been made, especially in relation to protecting young patients is to carry out psychologically assessment prior to surgery. Cosmetic surgery carries a risk of putting the patient at harm, both physically and emotionally, therefore surgeons need to be determine whether it is worth this risk.
For more information about cosmetic surgery negligence, contact one of our cosmetic surgery solicitors today. You can contact us for a no obligation chat, or fill out our online form and we will call you back.