Before plastic surgery, asks these questions

Reporter: Stephanie Dukes

Plastic surgery is becoming common among teens, but what should you know before allowing your son or daughter to go under the knife?

According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of girls age 18 or younger to have some sort of plastic surgery has tripled in recent years.

Local Dr. Alan Pillersdorf is never surprised to see a teenager in his office. "A young girl came in the other day, she wanted cheek implants - too young in my opinion. Rhinoplasty, not too young, a good candidate, and liposuction."

Dr. Pillarsdorf says he and other doctors often take on the role of a therapist in deciding whether plastic surgery is good idea for a teen patient. "You look at their age; then, you look at their maturity to see if they can handle having surgery."

Among the most common plastic surgery for teens rhinoplasties or nose jobs and breast augmentation. Doctors say parents and patients should explore whether a body problem that could be addressed by liposuction might be treated with diet or exercise first. If they choose to go ahead with surgery, there are important questions they need to ask when looking for a surgeon.

Dr. Pillarsdorf you should ask these questions to your surgeon:
  • Has he done this before?
  • How many times has he done it?
  • Does he do it in a hospital or a surgery center?
  • Has he had complications?
  • Has he had this particular problem?
  • What happens if there is a problem?

He says he tries to assure all potential teen patients they look good whether they have surgery or not. But, he believes, plastic surgery among teens is a trend that shows no signs of slowing down. "I think it should be cultivated cautiously. You don't want everyone looking like everyone else."