Cosmetic surgery or ‘aesthetic surgery’ is a procedure that is generally performed to improve the individual’s appearance, looks, esthetics, and to gain an attractive image in school. Usually, teenagers do not seem to be satisfied with their appearance and would further like to improve. It involves remodeling of the normal structures of the body. The procedure is performed electively and is generally not reimbursed by insurance (ASAPS, 2007). They utilize several surgical techniques such as cutting (incising) and stitching (suturing) tissues.
Besides, several chemical substances, laser beans and specialized machines are also required during the surgery. Reconstructive surgery is a procedure performed to repair tissues affected by disease, trauma, infection, birth defects, cancers, etc, so as to improve functioning appearance. Unlike, cosmetic surgery, the tissues operated upon in reconstructive surgery is abnormal. The procedures are usually covered by insurance. Reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery are types of plastic surgery procedures.
The distinction between cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery is not clear cut and depends on the individual’s age, purpose of the surgery and the degree of the defect. For example, a facelift surgery can be performed to remove a cancerous tumor in a teenager (considered as a reconstructive surgery) or to remove wrinkles in elders (considered as a cosmetic procedure). In the US, there has been a sudden increase in the demand for cosmetic surgery in teens.
In the year 2003, about 223, 000 cosmetic operations were conducted on individuals below the age of 18, out of which one-fourth involved procedures to enable weight loss or to reshape the breasts (Zuckermann, D. , 2005). In this regard a very interesting thesis question would be “Is it justified to perform cosmetic surgery in each and every case the teenage patient requests, or it necessary to evaluate the potential risks and benefits before the surgery? ” In every clinical situation, the physician should explain the benefits of the procedure and the risks involved.
The individual should carefully weight the risks and the benefits, and only if the benefits outweigh the risks, the procedure should be performed. However, teenagers are immature in understanding the risks involved with the surgery. They also have utopic expectations and feel that at any cost, they should undergo surgery. They are often persuaded by television shows which demonstrate the benefits of being thin or having appealing breasts. The teenage may require informing the parents before undergoing plastic surgery.
However, long-term studies are currently not available to demonstrate the ill-effects of such procedures. Besides, parents may feel that no significant risk is involved and hence permit the procedure for the welfare of their offspring (Zuckermann, D. , 2005). Some individuals may be susceptible to bleed extensively during and even after the surgery. This may be due to several factors including deficiency of clotting factors, history of medical conditions, etc. In such circumstances, the individual may be advised to draw out blood and use it in case of severe blood loss (ASPS, 2007).