Kids and Plastic Surgery for Bullying? Really?
What is bullying?
“Behavior by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group, either physically or emotionally.”
Recently it was brought to my attention that the Today Show ran a segment about kids and plastic surgery. The show focused on how bullying can be a major reason that many teenagers seek out plastic surgeons. They featured several different teenagers, discussing why they felt it necessary to undergo surgery for things such as prominent ears, an enlarged nose, and excessively large breasts. What surprises me most about this, is that it is even a news story at all. In Los Angeles in 2011, kids have plastic surgery. I see many children in my practice for elective plastic surgery procedures. The most common reason that these kids (and by default, their parents) come to see me is that they are insecure about their particular anatomic abnormality. Frequently they are teased by their peers. Frankly, kids of all ages can be absolutely cruel to their colleagues. Right or wrong, bullying happens. Teasing, gossiping, name calling and threatening are all very common, particularly when visible anatomic deformities cause kids to fall outside of the norm.
The important take-home message here is that oftentimes, many of these deformities can be easily corrected. Are kids and plastic surgery a good mix? Yes! Prominent ears can be improved with an otoplasty. Overly enlarged breasts (juvenile breast hypertrophy ), and male breast enlargement (gynecomastia) can be treated very effectively with a breast reduction. Congenital moles (nevi) can often be removed easily. A disturbingly large bump on the bridge of the nose can be minimized with a rhinoplasty. If your child is the victim of peer bullying for a very correctable condition, then you should consider seek the advice of your board-certified plastic surgeon today.
*photos on this post are not actual patients of Dr. Brenner.