The Huffington Post recently had an article about a Miami teenager who traveled to Latin America and spent $16,000 to have a plastic surgeon perform extensive plastic surgery and cosmetic augmentation procedures. These included liposuction, breast implants and buttock fillers. Her goal was to look like her celebrity idol: singer Jennifer Lopez, or J-Lo.
To any plastic surgeon in Miami, South Florida or across the country, consumers pursuing cosmetic surgery to look like a celebrity are nothing new. The story was concerning for a number of issues, including where the procedures were performed and the patient’s age. The work was done in Latin America, and the young woman was just 15 years old at the time of her augmentation.
This raises a number of issues..
First, many consumers travel to Latin America, and specifically Colombia, in pursuit of plastic surgery at a lower cost than that found in the U.S. In fact, the region has become “a popular international destination for budget-conscious customers looking for a deal on cosmetic surgery,” HuffPost reported. The problem is that South American regulations with regard to plastic surgery and aesthetic non-surgical treatments are not nearly as strict as those in the U.S. So traveling to a foreign country to save money when a patient is putting her body and her life in someone’s hands can be unwise.
The same can be said for many of the similar clinics found across South Florida. Seeking out surgery based on price is foolish. Corners are being cut somewhere and the patient can ultimately suffer. Always consult with qualified surgeons board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Second, a young teenage girl’s body often has not fully matured until the completion of puberty, which for some arrives in the late teens. Therefore, any breast augmentation or breast implants, buttock augmentation or liposuction performed may change shape or form as the body continues to develop and mature.
Speaking of maturity, it’s important that the patient be emotionally mature – and have the support of family before undergoing aesthetic plastic surgery.
Augmentation on other anatomical areas, like the ears and nose, may be more suitable for younger patients. For children with prominent ears, for example, surgery should be done before the child reaches the age of 7 to help ensure better results. Even rhinoplasty or a nose job can be done on teens. But body sculpting or other physical augmentation is best done at adulthood.
Finally, know your limits. In seeing the patients images in the story – and seeing others like her to come to this practice – often the patients look nothing like the celebrities they seek to emulate. Surgery can only accomplish so much in pursuit of a J-Lo
The woman in the HuffPost story, who now is 23, reportedly enjoys the satisfaction of her investment. “Since having my surgery, I’ve had so much attention from men. I love it.” Ultimately, for many, the attention paid by others and the improved self-image are the goals of successful body augmentation. We’re pleased she had a successful outcome.