More teens are going under the knife than ever before. The number of teen breast implant surgeries nationwide has tripled in the past decade.
It may seem like some of your teen’s favorite actresses and musicians. Even idols are suddenly bigger than ever before.
(Ryan Seacrest, American Idol Host):"So what have you bought with your money?" (Kellie Pickler, American Idol, runner-up): "I bought Ds."
But American Idol runner-up Kellie Pickler is not alone. Lindsay Lohan reportedly got breast implants as a teen. American Pie’s Tara Ried admitted to having plastic surgery a year or so ago and it looks like rap star Lil’ Kim is no longer, well, little.
The office of cosmetic surgeon Suzanne Yee may be 16-hundred miles from Hollywood still, Dr. Yee says she sees patients who want to look like the celebrities on the red carpet. Some patients are just too young and therefore not ready to go under the knife.
(Dr. Suzanne Yee, Comestic Surgeon)"If they’re not emotionally and physically ready for it–they think that it’s going to be a quick fix, like going to make them popular in school, or they’re doing it for their boyfriend–that’s not the reason to do it."
The FDA list of complications associated with the surgery includes bleeding, bruising, swelling, delayed healing, hematomas, loss of natural breast tissue, infection, and loss of sensation not to mention pain, which Dr. Yee says can be worse in younger patients.
(Yee)"Typically, the younger you are, the more pain you have because the muscles haven’t been stretched."
Despite the risks, the statistics show three times as many women underwent breast implant surgery in 2002 than in 1992. Then between the years 2002 and 2003 the number rose another 24% to just over 38-hundred teenagers.
This onetime patient who asked not to be identified had the surgery 5 years ago at age 19. But she says it was not because of peer pressure or magazine covers.
(Patient)"One of my breasts was larger than the other."
(Patient)"Whenever I wore swimming suits, or anything that was just a little tight or form fitting, it was pretty noticeable."
(Yee)"There are teens that have asymmetric breasts–one breast is much larger that than the other, maybe one or two cup sizes."
Dr. Yee says in cases like this the surgery is often an appropriate solution.
(Yee)"Most of those girls will come in about 16 or 17 and we will go ahead and put one breast implant in to even them out or…we’ll put one size in one side and one in the other so they’ll be even."
But in even a situation involving a minor deformity Dr. Yee advises parents not to mention it. Instead let your daughter talk about it when she’s comfortable.
(Yee)"Have a teen bring it up themselves. Don’t bring it up to them. Even if you see some asymmetries, you don’t want to make them think there’s something wrong with them."
And when the surgery is performed for what Dr. Yee says are the right reasons the benefits are immeasurable.
(Yee)"They can wear regular tank tops or whatever and not be so self-conscious about it. It really changes their personality."
(Patient)"I don’t feel self-conscious, I feel real confident now. And, I don’t know, it’s just great now."
The FDA’s website reminds potential patients that teen breast implants are never permanent. Most patients will require an additional surgery with in a decade of their initial procedure.