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Plastic Surgery for Teens - on the Rise

Updated on December 23, 2016
Pamela99 profile image

I have been writing about medical issues and all the new medical advances since spending 22 years in the nursing profession.

Planning the Surgery

Photo Courtesy of Moos Comedy
Photo Courtesy of Moos Comedy

210,000 Plastic Surgeries on Teens 2009

More teenagers are seeking plastic surgery treatment than ever before. It is hard to believe that children as young as 13 are having injections to reduce or prevent appearance of facial lines. Teens typically want plastic surgery to improve physical characteristics that they feel are flawed as they want to fit in with their peers.

Something like severe acne with scarring makes a teen very self conscious. Generally it is also thought that the pressure from Hollywood movie stars and the models, in shows like 90210, make the teenagers feel like they don’t measure up.

Many plastic surgeons prefer not to do cosmetic surgery on teens except for special circumstances, but feel the teens should wait until they reach the age of consent depending on the procedure. However, there are circumstances that warrant surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) performed 210,000 cosmetic procedures in 2009.

Plastic Surgeons are Also Pressured

If you decide to let your child have cosmetic surgery, find a good plastic surgeon and get some good cosmetic surgery information. Many surgeons send children to see a therapist first, which allows the child to explore the reasons for having the work done.

This also gives the doctor the benefit of having a professional opinion which shows the teens maturity to make this type of decision. The physicians want the teens and parents to understand that surgery is not without risks.

Doctors are feeling pressure from their peers also to refuse purely aesthetic enhancements to teens. This goes for Botox as well. No one knows the long term effects of injecting one's skin with Botox as it has only been approved since 2002, and was meant for older women.

There is no data as to how this might affect a teen over the decades of her life. Even adults aren’t always pleased with their cosmetic surgery decisions after the fact. Lisa Rina, wife of Harry Hamlin, has stated publicly her regrets for having too much Botox and other work according to the Huffington Post.

Lisa Rinni

These two pictures are taken 14 years apart and obviously she is an attractive women even is she is unhappy with the surgeries.
These two pictures are taken 14 years apart and obviously she is an attractive women even is she is unhappy with the surgeries.

Rhinoplasty

Photo Courtesy of Zimbio a post you own nose job site
Photo Courtesy of Zimbio a post you own nose job site

Common Cosmetic Surgeries

Boys are also having breast reduction surgery (due to Gynecomastia) and insurance will sometimes pay for this procedure.

The more common surgery is Rhinoplasty (commonly called a nose job) which is performed on the nose to straighten the bridge, remove an unsightly hump, reshape the tip or open breathing passages. This procedure cost roughly $4,216 and 34,994 were done on teens last year.

Ears Before Surgery

Ears after Surgery

Cosmetic Surgery Types

Ear pinning or an otoplasty is a surgical correction for protruding ears and this procedure can be done anytime after the age of five. This is something children are teased mercilessly about and so more commonly done. Last year 7,909 procedures were done with a price of $3,009.

When one breast grows much bigger than the other the surgeon can reduce the larger breast or augment the smaller breast with a saline implant or a combination of both. Many teens want breast implants..

Breast surgery cost is roughly $3,000 and more than 8000 were done last year. It is advisable to wait until the breasts quit growing to achieve the best result. Breast augmentation surgery using silicon implants is only approved for a woman 22 years or older.

Teen Plastic Surgery with Dr. Darrick Antell

Dermabrasion result

Photo Courtesy of Women's Republic
Photo Courtesy of Women's Republic

Dermabrasion and Laser Resurfacing

Some teens have a problem with acne including scarring and that is usually the reason for requesting either of these next two procedures. While microderabrasion is most effective for patients in the early stages of aging, teens have also benefited from this technique.

It can reduce mild acne scarring and it can be effective against recurring acne symptoms when used with other forms of treatment. Hyperpigmentation is another common reason this procedure is done. The procedure is considered effective for both dark and light skinned patients.

However it is not appropriate for severe acne advanced aging signs, sunburns, extensive hyper pigmentation, sensitive skin or some skin disorders. This procedure takes from 10 days to 3 weeks to heal. Last year 9,563 microabrasions were done at a cost of $152.

Laser resurfacing is also used for the above reasons. It involves an intense light beam that treats damaged surface skin. It helps with acne, acne scar, age spots. Face blemishes, scars, sun damage and hyperpigmentation. Laser treatment takes about 3-10 days to heal.

Laser treatment is also used on leg veins and hair removal. For laser treatments: skin resurfacing cost $2193 and 16,310 procedures were done last year; laser treatment of leg veins was done 19,933 at a cost of $400 and laser hair removal for $405 was done 65,308. All of this was on teens from 13-19.

Liposuction

Liposuction procedures were performed 3,179 times at a cost of $2,769. It is hard to think that many teens should have liposuction when exercising and a good diet would probably take care of most of their problems. A surprise to me also was facial plastic surgery for eyelids, which was performed 1,892 times at a cost of $2,809. I cannot figure out how a young teen would need eyelid surgery.

Summary

As a parent a couple of procedure listed here would be acceptable to me, but teenagers are very impulsive and they succumb to peer and media pressure to just try and fit in.  We want to raise our children with good self esteem, and they shouldn’t want to look like another person.  One physician reported that a girl came in with a picture of Britney Spears and wanted to look like her.  She might not look bad but what an awful role model for your daughter.  We want to teach our children to accentuate the positive and feel good about who they are inside as that is the long lasting person they will become.

© 2010 Pamela Oglesby

Comments

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  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    Hyper Plasticizer, I agree and I appreciate your comments.

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    Hyper Plasticizer 4 years ago

    There is a lot of information so it is very use, especially to let the teens.I can understand teenage plastic surgery for serious or traumatic defects, but not just for vanity's sake.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Crystal, I couldn't agree with your more. It is sad that young girls feel such pressure to just fell okay about themselves. It also happens to young boys, for instance, if they have ears that stick out. I actually think in that case it is an easy procedure and I would probably allow my son to get it done to avoid teasing and bullying. Teens particularly can be so mean to each other. Thanks so much for your comments.

  • Crystal Tatum profile image

    Crystal Tatum 5 years ago from Georgia

    This is absolutely terrifying, but it's true. Our society is more appearance obsessed than ever before, and young people are risking their health and their lives to have cosmetic procedures done before they've even stopped growing. Even more disturbing is what's at the root of this issue: Self-hate, a sense that we can only be loveable if we look a certain way. Great hub.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    sallyhatcher, Thank you for your comments.

  • sallyhatcher profile image

    sallyhatcher 5 years ago from Golden, Colorado

    I am always scare of plastic and cosmetic surgery is not perfect way for enhance looking but After read your post, From my mind all myth has been cleared as well as attract with it...Thanks

    ----------

    lip augmentation :- http://www.drtroell.com/procedures/facial-cosmetic...

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    peperuhi, I think many people, like me, feel the way you do. Thank you so much for your comment.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    emily noble, No, I don't play games.

    debbie roberts, I agree with you. I think it is important for parents to teach their children the dangers also. Thanks for your comments.

  • debbie roberts profile image

    Debbie Roberts 6 years ago from Greece

    Interesting hub. It is a sad sign of the times when young girls think that breast implants and botox is the answer to appearing attractive. As you said there are some procedures that you listed that I can understand youngsters wanting. I think the danger is that if unnecessary surgery doesn't have the yearned for effect, then there maybe temptation to have more.

    I think that as parents we have to help our children to love themselves, warts and all, and to point out that these plastic people we see in magazines and on television aren't 'real' and must be so insecure. We must also warn them of the dangers of unnecessary surgery.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    fashion, I agree with you completely I appreciate your comments.

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    fashion 6 years ago

    Good hub!There is a lot of information so it is very use, especially to let the teens.I can understand teenage plastic surgery for serious or traumatic defects, but not just for vanity's sake.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    Thanks for for your comments. I know peer pressure can be awful and depression can sure be a result. I think a simple procedure like fixing ears that stick way out is appropriate as that child will get teased a lot but I think Botox under any circumstances is not appropriate as we really don't know the long term effect of Botox yet. Thanks again for giving us your perspective.

  • myi4u profile image

    myi4u 6 years ago from United Kingdom

    Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder doesn't seem to apply in this realistic world anymore. Though it is still true in some cases. Parents like to say to their child that they are beautiful in their own way. Yes, that's true but considering the society that we live in today, peer pressures often make things worst. 'My parents say that I am beautiful but at school, none of my friends want to play with me because they say I am ugly'. Majority wins and the poor teen will think that his/her parents are lying and don't understand him/her. Depression sets in and so on.

    For teens, I agree that minor plastic surgeries which could improve their confidence are acceptable. Botox treatment is a little to extreme for me though there are no reports in saying botox is harmful, i think. Professional advice is always needed!

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    johncimble, Thanks for the comment.

  • johncimble profile image

    johncimble 6 years ago from Bangkok

    useful xx

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    Shona, I think that is true and the other thing is chickens get estrogen injections. Thanks for your comments.

  • Shona Venter profile image

    Shona Venter 6 years ago from South Africa

    These days, it seems like everyone wants a quick fix to all of their problems. Unfortunately, a huge contributor to boys and men growing breasts these days, is the consumption of soy products, as over 95% of soy is genetically modified, which leads to a host of health issues.

    Voted up

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    I think they age faster due to all the chemicals put in meat, like estrogen in chicken, and in other food. I agree many have unhealthy life styles also. Thank you for your comments.

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    plastic surgeon 6 years ago

    it's normal to age but not teen age that looks like their in their 30's already, this is because teens these days grow old faster due to unhealthy lifestyle, they slept late, drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Lea, I fully agree with you. Thanks so much for your comments.

  • lea86 profile image

    lea86 7 years ago

    This is a really useful info, especially to let the teens out there to realize that they are just fine the way they are. To take a plastic surgery in order to cover the flaws are actually stay on a temporary period of time, because by age, the skin and physically structure will change; so it is imporant to let them know that the real thing that we have to be proud on is from within.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Kaye, Thank you for your comment.

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    Kaye 7 years ago

    This is something parents should have control of.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    cwarden, I would not agree either. She may change a log my even 21 years old and certainly she will be more mature. Teens want to fit in so badly that they don't consider there is risk in any surgery. Thanks for your comment.

  • cwarden profile image

    cwarden 7 years ago from USA

    Good hub. Thanks for the info. I have a teenage daughter who wants plastic surgery on her breasts. I will not agree to it.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Support Med, I agree. Thanks for your comment.

  • Support Med. profile image

    Support Med. 7 years ago from Michigan

    It's bad when teens feel they have to go to such lengths to like themselves. Very well written hub. Vote/rated.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Hello, Thanks so much for your comments as they are appreciated.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

    Sorry, Pamela, I don't know what happened but somehow it slipped through the wires.

    A topic well worth raised and very well delt with. I noticed that they going cracy but it is parents who most of the time encourage them. Thank you for a great hub.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    50 Caliber, I heard no a lot when I was growing up plus I started working as a young teen. It's a different world today. Thanks for your comment.

  • 50 Caliber profile image

    50 Caliber 7 years ago from Arizona

    Pamela, a great hub, bringing me to wonder what ever came of the word "no"? I heard it many times as a kid growing up. I'm a people watcher, and a friend and I go to the mall and sit at a table railed off on the main walk inside the mall and drink designer coffee and play the "real?, fake?" game as folks walk by just to pass the time as we talk about fixing the world.

    I can't see any surgery for one under 18 for vanity's sake, some how it seems so wrong. I see 16 year olds drive up in 40k cars and roll through the mall with their own credit cards, I fail to understand this day and age where a kid walks by and the clothes on their back cost more than the vehicle I drive.

    Good hub, it amazes me the numbers are so high, Dusty

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    b. Crowe, Thanks so much for your comment.

  • b.crowe profile image

    Bridgette Crowe 7 years ago from Morrow La

    Great Hub

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Sunforged, I think your view is similar to most of the others. I think most procedures should be delayed until the child reaches the age of consent. Thank you for your comments.

  • sunforged profile image

    sunforged 7 years ago from Sunforged.com

    I like your balanced approach on this topic, there is certainly alot of superfluous surgeries, but its good to see that for the most part even your commenters understand that valid reasons exist for some early "cosmetic" surgeries. Personally, barring any horrible disfigurement or birth defect I could only be swayed to accept the microdermabrasion procedure for purely superficial reasons.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    midnightbliss, I agree as the way they look now may be exactly the way they want to look once they get older. Thanks for the comment.

  • midnightbliss profile image

    Haydee Anderson 7 years ago from Hermosa Beach

    plastic surgery for vanity's sake should not be allowed to teens. what they need id encouragement and motivation to accept whatever physical attributes they have.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    tylercoop, I don't blame you. These girls that go from an A to a double D look ridiculous. Thanks for your comment.

  • tylercoop profile image

    tylercoop 7 years ago

    I don't understand why teenagers would even consider plastic surgery unless it is absolutely necessary. My daughter wanted to have her breasts made bigger when she was 18, and I absolutely forbit it. They are too obsessed with looks.

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Jan, It seems most people feel the same way. Thanks for your comment.

    LeanMan, That sounds like the tubes they sometimes put in due to too many year infections. Thanks for your comment.

  • Springboard profile image

    Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

    The numbers are staggering, and the trend is very disturbing if you ask me. What ever happened to acceptance? What ever happened to self respect? What ever happened to parents encouraging their kids to forget about their pitfalls and their weaknesses and focus on their strenghts? Since when did "beauty is on the inside" become a maxim and not a truth?

    I love everything about me, and especially my flaws. Those, contrary to popular belief, make me human.

  • LeanMan profile image

    Tony 7 years ago from At the Gemba

    My daughter had surgery when she was about 3 years old in the UK, however she had two earlobes on each ear and they stuck out terribly and looked very strange. She was a little angel about the surgery and they made a big difference to her I am sure as she grew older. If she had gone to school with her ears as they were she would have suffered!

  • Jane@CM profile image

    Jane@CM 7 years ago

    I am all for the ear surgery. My sister had it when she was very young. The other surgeries, I just don't think teens need to have. When they get older and can make those decisions and pay for it themselves is one thing, but I think parenting plays a huge role in this!

  • Pamela99 profile image
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    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    G L Stout, I agree with you and thank you for your comments.

    Eileen, I don't understand the parents either, unless there is a bad disfigurement. i appreciate your comments.

    Kaltopsyd, Teens change so much as they mature that it seems that they should be of age before this would be allowed unless there is an injury or disfigurement. Thanks for your comments

    Money Glitch, That's my thought to. There's no way to know when they are that young. Thanks for the comment.

    Wendy, Yes, it is. Thanks for your comment.

  • Wendy Krick profile image

    Wendy Krick 7 years ago from Maryland

    This is a scary trend.

  • Money Glitch profile image

    Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

    Wow, I find this to be really sad. Kids like grown-ups find things that they don't like about themselves but to something as drastic as going 'up under the knife' at such an early age is just wrong. Because what you dislike about yourself as a teenager might be what you love as an adult. Thumbs up! :)

  • kaltopsyd profile image

    kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

    This is just a horrible trend and I don't understand why they even allow teens to do this. It's not like as a teenager you look the way you'll look forever. Don't they think of that? Anyway, thanks for this eye-opening Hub.

  • Eileen Hughes profile image

    Eileen Hughes 7 years ago from Northam Western Australia

    I really cannot see why kids have to do this. Unless of course they have a very bad disfigurement. It is a shame that parents allow it to happen. Maybe they are trying to do the things in their kids lives that they wanted in their own and were not allowed to do. Such a shame. great hub thanks for bringing this to our notice.

  • G L Strout profile image

    G L Strout 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

    I think it is sad that so many people feel the need to "improve" their looks. One of the things that make people so interesting is their uniqueness and they keep trying to hide it! I wish people could love themselves for who they are.

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    MPG, I was surprised at the number of surgeries being done on teens also. Thanks for your comments.

  • MPG Narratives profile image

    Marie Giunta 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    It is so sad that teens feel they have to do this to themselves in order to feel better. I know of cases where parents have pinned back their childrens' ears for fear of bullying. It's all gone too far now as pressure to look perfect seems to fuel this obsession for beauty.

    Thanks for the interesting info Pamela, I didn't realise there were so many different types of plastic surgery.

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    PinkDaisy, I agree except for those in accidents or some very legitimate reason. Thanks for your comments.

    Chris, It makes you wonder what are their parents thinking because they are footing the bill. Thanks for your comments.

  • carolina muscle profile image

    carolina muscle 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

    I hate the idea of young people modifying their appearance before they even know what they'll look like as adults. what a concept!!!

    great post, Pamela!!!!

  • pinkdaisy profile image

    pinkdaisy 7 years ago from Canada

    Great hub! Plastic surgery has become a disturbing trend. Teens should never be getting plastic surgery.

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Anginwu, Thank you for your comments. I think teens want to grow up too fast and don't have the wisdom to always make the best decisions for themselves.

    coffeesnob, Thanks so much for your comments.

  • profile image

    coffeesnob 7 years ago

    Sad commentary for the way we see ourselves. I agree it is disturbing

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 7 years ago

    You raised an important question--when is plastic surgery too soon? I realize there are circumstances where plastic surgeries are warranted for teens but to look better, to look bigger (we all know where)--when will that end if they start so early. Interesting hub and rated useful.

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    fashionforward, It seems like the teens are too young to make permanent decisions that they can't undo and may be sorry about in a few years. Thanks for your comment.

    Rev Lady, You are so right and it is sad. I appreciate your comments. God Bless.

  • RevLady profile image

    RevLady 7 years ago from Lantana, Florida

    Teens are merely emulating their seniors and celebrities. We live in a plastic society so getting plasticized make perfect sense to those caught up in vanity.

    Thank you for sharing an interesting, if not sad, hub.

    Forever His,

  • fashionforward profile image

    fashionforward 7 years ago from Denver, Colorado

    Wow. I guess I could understand teenage plastic surgery for serious or traumatic defects, but not just for vanity's sake. As a simple example, I got a tattoo as a teenager and simply loved it. A few years later, I hated it, couldn't afford to have it removed, and had it reworked instead. I can't imagine "becoming" Britney Spears and then waking up years later regretting the way I chose to look.

  • Pamela99 profile image
    Author

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    BPOP, I agree. Thanks for your comment.

    Tom, It seems like children run the house half the time anymore. Thanks for your comment.

    Ecogging, It is sad because many of them will grow up and not feel the same way at all. I can understand some of the procedures but they are way over the top. Thanks for your comment.

    Mentalist, I actually think that is one of the acceptable surgeries because its fairly simple and children do get teased when there ears stick out. Thanks for your comment.

    Katiem, I can't imagine you letting your daughters have some of this inappropriate surgery either. Well adjusted is because of you. Thanks for your comment.

  • katiem2 profile image

    katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

    Yes I've heard of this myself and yet can't phantom allowing my daughters doing this. Thankfully their well adjusted and accepting of themselves. How sad the youth feels the need to do such things.

  • Mentalist acer profile image

    Mentalist acer 7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

    I had a childhood friend who had an otoplasty for his ears after many ill-remarks and thought it was deemed nesessary...the remarks stopped;)

  • ecoggins profile image

    ecoggins 7 years ago from Corona, California

    How sad. It is a tragedy that teens cannot accept others for who they are and celebrate their true beauty. God is more like Picasso than Rembrandt. Every human is a masterpiece of his hand created to be the unique people they are. In terms of true birth defects and disabilities, unfortunately some bare more marks of the fall than others. But, simple differences in facial and body features should be celebrated as works of art, not subjected to conformity due to peer pressure.

  • Tom Whitworth profile image

    Tom Whitworth 7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

    Pamela,

    In the case of surgery for the purpose of vanity only I think the parents should be charged with child abuse!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Good Hub!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • breakfastpop profile image

    breakfastpop 7 years ago

    I heard about this trend and it is very disturbing. I can understand a nose job but the kind of things these kids want done is insane. No responsible doctor would do it.