Cosmetic surgery for children is a controversial issue, since many people feel that underage minors should not receive purely aesthetic bodily enhancements until they reach legal adulthood. While this is ethically correct in some cases, there are certainly circumstances in which cosmetic surgery can and should be considered for even very young children. This is especially true in cases where the aesthetic procedure will provide them with the opportunity to live a normal life, without the burden of some cosmetic impairment which is likely to affect their personal development to a significant degree. As always, this should be determined on a case-by-case basis.
In most scenarios, the allowable operations will actually be considered pediatric plastic or reconstructive surgery, rather than cosmetic surgery. However, some people still do not realize the difference in these terms, so for further research, we recommend you read through our sections dedicated to each topical reference.
This treatise explores the hotly debated topic of cosmetic surgery for kids. We will discuss both sides of the argument and allow readers to make up their own minds about where they stand on this controversial subject matter.
Ethics of Cosmetic Surgery for Children
There has to be some rule of thumb when considering cosmetic procedures for children. After all, this is a decision that must be approved by the parents, as well as by the surgeon offering the aesthetic services to the child in question.
While most quality surgeons will not even entertain the idea of operating out of pure vanity considerations for youngsters, many will consider performing procedures for bodily issues which provide functional impairment or a great deal of unwanted negative attention.
While most surgeons would advise waiting for a teenager to receive a nose job or breast augmentation, they might consider doing surgery on a child who suffers with severe ear symmetry issues, facial disfigurement, a noticeable and unaesthetic birthmark or a child who has lost one or both breasts due to extreme juvenile hypertrophy and subsequent mastectomy.
Surgeons who would consider performing purely elective and ego-based operations might not be the best choices for hiring a quality care provider.
Concerns Over Cosmetic Surgery for Children
If a child undergoes a purely cosmetic operation for vanity reasons, they may regret it at some point in their future. A young mind can not make mature decisions and some youngsters may change their opinions on their bodies as they age.
For troublesome facial concerns, damage from traumatic injury or congenital or developmental deformities, these factors are rarely reasons enough to prevent surgery.
However, when changing the anatomy simply to suit the beauty preferences of a young mind, it is often though best to wait until the age of responsibility and then allow the young adult to make the choice once they have had the chance to truly consider the ramifications of their decisions from a more mature prospective.
Basically, the circumstances of the case should warrant the decision by the parents and cosmetic surgeon alike. No rules can be universally drawn to accommodate every case of elective aesthetic surgery on a minor.
Cosmetic Surgery for Children Arguments
Children want to fit-in with their peers and do not want to be the subject of cruel scrutiny or unwanted attention due to some problematic bodily concern. If this is indeed the current circumstance, it is humane and just to allow surgery in order to correct problematic anatomical issues, even very early in life.
If the parents are not wise enough to hold off on these surgical interventions, then hopefully then surgeon will be. In some areas of the world, legal precedents will force doctors to wait to perform many cosmetic operations until the minor reaches the age of adulthood.
Remember also that any plastic surgeon who might take on a controversial case may not be the best choice, since they are obviously not in great demand from less risky patients. There is usually some disturbing reason why this occurs.
As usual, we advise that consumers must do their due diligence and be wary when hiring any plastic or cosmetic surgeon, in order to better their chances of enjoying satisfying outcomes.