Liposuction also carries potentially serious risks, including infection, damage to skin, nerves, or vital organs, fat or blood clots (that can migrate to the lungs, leading to death), and excessive fluid loss that can, rarely, lead to shock or death.
Liposuction is also associated with eating disorders and distorted body image.
Currently, there is no evidence that effective screening is widespread.
Teens expect that plastic surgery will improve their self-confidence, but does it?
There are no epidemiological studies or clinical trials on the safety and long-term risks of these procedures for adolescents.
Although the FDA approved saline breast implants for women ages 18 and older, it is legal for physicians to perform breast augmentation for anyone under 18 as an “off-label” use.However, cultural phenomena such as surgical makeovers on numerous television programs and unrelenting pressures on teens to conform to beauty standards make it increasingly difficult to agree on what constitutes a “normal” appearance and when the desire to improve one’s appearance is questionable or even crosses the line to psychopathology.In this commentary, I will focus on elective, cosmetic procedures on an otherwise healthy adolescent with no illness or impairment.In 2015 alone, 7,840 girls and young women between the ages of 13 and 19 underwent breast augmentation surgery, with an additional 1,797 teens receiving breast lifts.Silicone gel breast implants were approved by the FDA in 2006, but only for women ages 22 and older.Unrealistic expectations or having the surgery to please a boyfriend is considered inappropriate, but having surgery so that “I will feel better about myself” or “clothes will fit better” are considered reasonable responses.By the same token, teenagers who use drugs, drive while inebriated, and have unprotected sex may also make those decisions to please themselves, and not others, so that response alone is not sufficient evidence of a mature decision.Little is known about whether or how effective these surgeries are on young women.Potential complications include infection, altered sensation, painful penetration, adhesions, and scarring.One way to help ensure that teenagers are mature enough to make decisions about plastic surgery is to screen potential patients using psychological testing.In media interviews, plastic surgeons often describe careful interviews aimed at determining why the teen wants plastic surgery.