Saturday, August 4, 2012

Plastic Surgery to Stop Bullying

Can plastic surgery really put an end to bullying? Dr. Jennifer Walden and Austin Child Guidance Center's Seanna Crosbie discuss the topic affecting many children and teens on Austin's FOX 7 Morning Show.


The past decade has shown a 30 percent increase in teenage plastic surgery. Dr. Jennifer Walden on Fox 7 in Austin, Texas said the most popular procedures for children and teenagers are otoplasty, which is pinning of prominent ears, rhinoplasty for a hooked or crooked nose, as well as breast reduction for males who have breast enlargement during their teenage years, all of which are good indications for a cosmetic procedure to help with distress and depression linked to bullying.

Seanna Crosbie said children may be teased for a variety of reasons but commonly is for their appearance. Crosbie said bullying is not only an issue with the victim, but also with the perpetrator as well as how the community and schools manage bullying. Research shows that the best way to address bullying is to create more supervision in schools, train teachers how to address bullying and to train bystanders how to intervene if bullying does occur.

But, is plastic surgery really an effective way to get through bullying? Dr. Walden said cosmetic procedures are a personal decision among a mature teenager, a clinical psychologist and the child's parent. She warns that surgery may not alleviate all bullying, however it can effectively cause the child to be more self-confident and learn how to positively handle bullying. Dr. Walden said the improvement in self-esteem that a two-hour surgical procedure makes can be life-changing for children and teenagers who may obsess over a physical defect they are being teased for.

With any surgical procedure, there are the rare yet inherent risks associated with anesthesia, however as long as the child is fit and healthy and has been cleared for surgery by their pediatrician, complications are relatively rare. Dr. Walden urges to always consult a board certified plastic surgeon and make sure any procedure is being performed in an accredited facility if you do choose plastic surgery.

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