Florida Plastic Surgeon Dr. Wigoda Speaks on Teens, Plastic Surgery and Bullying

Plastic surgery to avoid bullying? Are South Florida teens ready to go under the knife? Should we be thinking of Botox, Boobs and Nose Jobs to avoid bullying? Media outlets such as Good Morning America and The Today Show are reporting a growing number of teens requesting plastic surgery as a reprieve from bullying.

According to CDC data, one in five high school students are bullied on school grounds every year. Even future pop superstar Lady Gaga was teased about her appearance as a child: the singer recounted being taunted and thrown in a trash can on The View on Monday.

High school senior Erica Morgo tried to break her own nose after constant teasing. After the incident, her mother, Dana Manzella, decided to allow her then 15-year-old daughter to undergo cosmetic surgery.

Teasing is torture to teens. So when 13-year-old Aubrey Woodward told The Today Show she wants plastic surgery to get her ears pinned back, she said it was because, “it makes me feel really bad” when she gets teased about them.

Erica and Aubrey are among a small but growing number of teenagers who say being teased or bullied prompted them to consider or even undergo cosmetic surgery.

Ear pin-backs are one of the most common plastic surgeries for teens, along with nose jobs such as Erica’s and breast reductions. Recent data from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery indicates that 203,308 teens went under the knife in 2009.

“While not very common, plastic surgery on teenagers can be appropriate in certain circumstances,” says Dr. Wigoda, Chief of Plastic Surgery at Broward General. “Each case has to be evaluated carefully to make certain the surgery is being done for the right reasons. For example, if a teen has very large breasts for which she not only gets teased but which make it difficult for her to exercise or participate in physical activities, or if they are causing pain, a breast reduction may be appropriate. A teen who feels very self conscious about a large nose or prominent ears, can be helped significantly with surgery with regards to their self esteem and their degree of confidence in themselves.”
When considering plastic surgery, whether for a teen or adult, it is important to thoroughly research the doctor, surgery center and risk associated with a procedure. The decision to have an elective cosmetic procedure is a serious one and should not be taken lightly. Dr. Wigoda firmly believes in building a rapport and carefully evaluating each potential patient to ensure they are a good candidate for whatever surgery they are pursuing.