Teens Search for Perfection Pt. 3

By: Demetria McClenton Email
By: Demetria McClenton Email

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports Americans spent nearly $10.5-Billion on cosmetic procedures in 2009.

News 4's Demetria McClenton continues her coverage on plastic surgery and its impact on teenagers.

For some teens, plastic surgery is a way to boost self-esteem and cut down on teasing.

For professionals in the cosmetic industry, that satisfaction translates to more green.

In the final installment of "In Search of Perfection" we follow a parent who wants a perfect body.

WTVY employee, Jennifer Shaner isn't shy when talking about surgery.

She's undergone 5 cosmetic procedures and is anxiously awaiting her next one.

“[I’ve had] Tummy tuck, lipo, lip, implants, and tomorrow will be 6,” said Shaner.

Shaner has 4 daughters, one's a teenager who she says she'll support if she decides to have a cosmetic procedure.

“I don't know of any procedures that I would be uncomfortable with her getting,” said Shaner.

But, the procedures come at a hefty price.

"The more this stuff becomes popular, the more people are doing it, the more mainstream it becomes, the cheaper it will eventually become as well," said Dr. Amanda Bell.

Doctor Bell is an Internist, who practices in Dothan.

She says she sees not only mom's wanting to regain their youth, but also young girls requesting adult treatments.

“We in general do not treat anyone younger than 18 with Botox and Dysport and fillers. The idea of consequence and forward-thinking of how things will work out in the future is not that great in an under-18 aged person,” said Dr. Bell.

But some surgeons are treating teens and in most cases, parents are left footing the bill.

The average cost for nose reshaping and breast augmentations, range from $3,000 to $6,000.

A procedure like this lip filler is wallet-friendly around $400.

"Things aren't as expensive in this field as they used to be. It tends to work that way with most things fillers and VCR's," said Dr. Bell.

Women aren't the only ones going under the knife.

Latest data reports show men had more than 900,000 procedures in 2009.

The top surgeries for males 18 and younger were nose jobs and breast reductions.

“There's a condition in young males, called gynoclamastia that’s enlarged breasts in males,” said Dr. Dwight Baker, Plastic Surgeon.

Dr. Baker says teen males benefit psychologically from this type of surgery.

“I have one now who I just recently saw. Now he comes in and he smiles and he's outgoing and he's talkative and I never saw that in him when I talked to him before.”

Critics stress the importance of considering all risks and possible complications and experts agree.

“Surgery is very permanent, you can't go back and there are mistakes,” said Shaner.

Every professional recommends teens and parents thoroughly research each procedure.

And stick with only board certified plastic surgeons when considering cosmetic or reconstructive surgery.

Critics say, legal and social responsibility fall upon the parents for teen decision making.

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