SmartLipo for Teenage Daughter?

I am a mother of a 14 year old daughter going on 15, and I've been considering SmartLipo for her. Now I know this sounds crazy and extreme, but I want her self esteem to go up. She hates the way she looks and almost tried to kill herself because of her body image. I don't want to rush into things, but I just want what very mom wants, for their child to be happy. Would this be the right thing?

Doctor Answers 4

Liposuction is not the best response to psychological problems.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hi there-

I'm so very sorry you and your daughter are experiencing this unrest. I know as a parent that seeing your child in pain is very difficult.

I do not think, however, that even perfectly executed plastic surgery is the answer. Most likely her psychological issues will persist, because the underlying problem is in fact psychological.

I advise you to seek a good counselor first. Once her head is in the right place and she has gained the maturity necessary, it may become a better option.

Teenager with poor self esteem and liposuction

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Your description of your daughter does not mention if she is overweight or if she has a poor and unrealistic image of herself. If she is overweight and therefore has the correct image of herself, she may benefit by having care by a team of an endocrinologist, nutritionist and exercise trainer. It is less difficult to work towards a goal if there are people to whom you have to report and who follow your progress. If it is just the person trying to watch their own weight, they don't have to worry about letting the doctor or trainer down, just themselves and they may allow themselves to cheat on the diet or not exercise. Knowing that she has follow-up appointments wtih the specialists, she may try harder to keep on her plan. Once she loses some weight the goal would be to continue the healthier lifestyle. If she has a bulge that she can't lose past a certain point, then as she gets older she can reconsider having liposuction, and being in better shape will allow her to heal better.

On the other hand, if she is not overweight and has a poor image of herself, she needs a psychiatrist to counsel her because something other than her body is troubling her, and if she were to undergo liposuction, she will not be happy with the results and her anguish may worsen.

Regardless of your decision, your daughter should be under the care of a psychiatrist and if you are considering surgery eventually, the psychiatrist and surgeon should be in communication.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

SmartLipo for teenage daughter

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You should seek professional mental advise before considering cosmetic surgery upon a teenager. There is a risk that even with the surgery her self image will still be depressed.

From MIAMI Dr. B

You might also like...

No - This is the wrong thing altogether

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Self esteem is the reason that she is having weight issues, not the result of it. In my experience, if you do liposuction without getting the mental/physical/mind-body under control, this will be a disaster.

Add to that the fact that few, if any, teens are actually candidates medically for this and the fact that even the best adjusted are poor candidates for this and you have all the makings for a true problem. Sorry - your heart is in the right place, but this isn't the answer.

Joel Schlessinger, MD
Omaha Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.