Plastic surgery growing trend for grads

Jackie Vega

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Graduations are behind us this semester, but there’s a growing trend of more and more graduates getting plastic surgery as gifts.

“I’m not shocked completely because there’s a growing trend for plastic surgery in all age ranges,” said plastic surgeon Jennifer Walden. “And basically, with teenagers getting plastic surgery, it kind of goes along with plastic surgery being more accessible, pervasive in our media.”

Most popular procedures

  • Rhinoplasty
  • Breast augmentation or correction
  • Breast reduction
  • Liposuction

Walden said teenagers need to be emotionally ready for a permanent change in their body after undergoing surgery. In addition, she said parents need to definitely be on board and supportive.

It has to be a win-win arrangement between plastic surgeon, family, parents and the patient getting the surgery, said Walden.

“They should’ve researched the procedures out and be able to take the time off of sports, camps, any type of summer school they may be doing to recover from these procedures so they don’t end up with a complication,” said Walden.

What to do before procedure

  • Do research ahead of time
  • Talk to your parents
  • Go and see several different board-certified surgeons well-versed in that procedure
  • Be emotionally ready for permanent change in body


And while many associate plastic surgery with vanity, Walden said it’s deeper than that a lot of the time.


“This is not an exercise in vanity,” she said. “A lot of these surgeries help correct a very embarrassing body part, such as enlarged breast  on a teenage boy, or prominent ears, or a hooked nose.”

It helps teenagers establish self-esteem and confidence before venturing off on this new leg of their life.

“We have such a visually-oriented society with Facebook, Instagram and TV images that it’s not uncommon for teenagers to want to and be able to change their appearance for the better at that juncture between going off from high school to college,” said Walden.

As for recovery time, it varies by procedure. Still, the general rule is to rest up for five- to seven days.

Tips for recovery

  • Teens need four weeks off sport activities
  • They must take off six weeks for contact sports, such as football
  • Use sunblock for those sun-exposed areas
  • Some good rest and relaxation
  • Stay inside and recuperate in the air conditioning, especially because swelling can happen in the outdoor heat

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