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By Carmen Roverez

Teens deal with self-esteem issues, body image issues and peer pressure on a daily basis. The thing that's different today is that many teens are choosing plastic surgery as a solution to their insecurities. Take Amanda. Her decision to go for breast implants seemed silly at first, but then I realized the kind of pressures she was facing. There are a lot of opinions on the matter, but no matter how you feel about plastic surgery, the fact remains that it's dangerous going 'under the knife'.

The three most popular cosmetic surgeries for teens are:

  • rhinoplasty (nose job)
  • otoplasty (ear pin)
  • breast reduction

These are not the only surgeries teens are electing for, some teens are fighting for liposuction, breast implants, eye tucks, botox injections, tummy tucks and the list goes on. In some cases, you have to reach the age of consent (16 or 18 depending on where you live) to have these cosmetic surgeries. But, in many cases, with parental or guardian support and approval from a surgeon, these cosmetic surgeries can be performed on teens as young as 16 regardless of the age of consent.

Although plastic surgery is a personal decision, the long-term effects can outweigh the solution. If you're considering cosmetic surgery to increase self-esteem (breast implants because you are teased about being flat-chested), you're bandaging the problem. Once the instant gratification of your new 'look' wears off, you're still 'you'. Remember, teens can continue to grow and change well into their 20's, so make sure your body is done growing before you decide to start altering it.

If cosmetic surgery is your only option (perhaps you have a very crooked nose and have received confirmation from a doctor that it will not grow or change any more on its own), then make sure you're making an educated decision. Research the procedure. Be very aware of exactly what will happen when you are being operated on and make sure you're getting your surgery from a well-respected surgeon. Make the decision with a parent and talk to a psychologist before your surgery to make sure you understand everything. Surgery is a pretty big deal and serious things can go wrong. Know what you're getting into, know the risks and know that you are prepared for the consequences.

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