The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) has raised concerns about the number of young people who want cosmetic procedures as younger patients can be vulnerable and often have self-esteem issues. President Elect, Michael Cadier believes that there are other avenues that young people should explore before surgery.
Penningtons Manches has recently reported on the possible link between social media and cosmetic surgery (click here) and, in an age that revolves around social media, it is perhaps unsurprising that there is a rise in the numbers of young people wanting cosmetic surgery, whether it is to look like their idol or because they suffer from self-esteem issues.
Amy Milner, an associate within the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches, who deals with claims arising out of cosmetic surgery, says: “In some circumstances, the reason for wanting cosmetic surgery is to boost self-esteem and confidence and many procedures such as treatment for facial scarring or blemishes, weight loss surgery and breast reduction can genuinely help. There are, however, some cases where surgery can have a potentially detrimental impact, particularly if the results were not expected or the patient had unrealistic expectations of what could be achieved. Young people who already suffer from issues with self-esteem can be devastated if the surgery that they hope will be a life-changing solution goes wrong.
“The increase in the number of young people wanting cosmetic procedures is very worrying. They may not understand the lifelong implications of cosmetic surgery, the potential risks of the surgery or what can and cannot be achieved through surgery. Psychological assessment/counselling may help to determine whether surgery is likely to have a positive outcome for an individual and to explore the motivations for surgery. Given the increasingly high rates of cosmetic surgery, it is imperative that those offering cosmetic surgery should thoroughly explore a patient’s medical history, particularly if the procedure being requested is unusual and the patient is young. All too often people go ahead on an impulse without really understanding what is involved – and surgeons must take responsibility in this area.”