More teens turning to plastic surgery

ASPS: 63,000+ teens had cosmetic surgical procedures in 2014

By Kristin Cason - Assignment editor, Joy Purdy - 5:30, 6:30 & 11 p.m. anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Whether they're feeling self-conscious about the way their nose is shaped, or they have aggressive acne that's left scars, there are thousands of teens who consider plastic surgery every year.

Last year, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that more than 63,000 teens, ages 13 to 19, had cosmetic surgical procedures. News4Jax looked into which surgeries were the most popular, and asked some local experts where they see this apparent trend heading.

Experts said the social pressures have many teens turning to plastic surgery to improve their looks and self-esteem.

 "The problem is that we're teaching kids that there should be some quick fix or the exterior is so important," D'Arienzo said.

Clinical psychologist, Dr. Justin D'Arienzo wasn't surprised by the latest numbers from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

"The parents that allow or consent to the plastic surgery, often some of them have used plastic surgery to change something physical about them or they're just at their wits end and don't know what to do to help their child with their child's obsession about how they look," said D'Arienzo.

The ASPS reported the most popular surgery in 2014 was nose reshaping or rhinoplasty, there were 30, 127 procedures done.

  • Second, was breast augmentation at 8,040 procedures.
  • And tied for third, the most popular surgery among teens was breast reduction in males. There were 6,694 of those procedures done.
  • And more than 6,254 ear surgeries.

All of the surgeries have seen slightly fewer patients than last year, except breast reductions in males. The number of those surgeries, among teens, have increased 14 percent.

But it still raises the question, if teens are physically ready for plastic surgery. Local plastic surgeon, Dr. Sarvam Terkonda said that's one of two important factors to consider before surgery.

"We want to make sure that teen is fully developed because if that feature is still changing, we may not get the outcome that we like. We want to obtain for that individual," Terkonda said.

The other concern, he said, is whether the teen is emotionally mature to understand everything involved with surgery.

"They may not understand what the risks are associated with surgery and I think it's important for the parents to understand that. This is real surgery and surgery has benefits but it also has some risks associated with it," said Terkonda.

The ASPS also took a look at last year's non-surgical procedures or minimally-invasive procedures, for teens ages 13 to 19 .

  • Of the more 160,541 procedures, the most popular was laser hair removal at 71,650.
  • Second was laser skin resurfacing at 26,961 procedures.
  • Tied for third, the most popular minimally-invasive procedure last year among teens was Botox, there were 19,170 procedures.
  • And more than 19,000 procedures for laser treatment of leg veins.

All of these procedures have seen a slight increase in the past year among teens.

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