Teens and Breast Augmentation

Diana Zuckerman and Anisha Abraham. Teenagers and Cosmetic Surgery: Focus on Breast Augmentation and Liposuction. Journal of Adolescent Health, October 2008.

Two of the most popular and controversial cosmetic procedures for adolescents are liposuction and breast implants.  This review article, describes the procedures and discusses the physiological and psychological reasons to delay these procedures in adolescents. The authors also describe concerns about body dysmorphic disorder and research findings that show changes in teenagers’ body image as they mature. Zuckerman and Abraham also highlight the lack of persuasive empirical research on the mental health benefits of plastic surgery for teenagers. Finally, the authors address the long-term financial and health implications of implanted medical devices that have a  limited lifespan. Adolescent medicine providers need to be involved in improving informed decision making for these procedures, aware of the absence of data on the health and mental health risks and benefits of these surgeries for teenagers, and understand the limitations on teenagers’ abilities to evaluate risks.

Read the full article here.