ASK THE EXPERT
MY TEENAGER WANTS TO HAVE HER BREASTS ENLARGED – SURELY SHE’S TOO YOUNG
QMY 17-year-old daughter is obsessed with having her breasts enlarged, and won’t accept she’s too young. What can we do to help make her happier with her natural shape and stop her wanting surgery?
ANAVEEN CAVALE, a consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon at King’s College Hospital, London, and founder of Real Plastic Surgery says: “When I see women requesting a breast enlargement, I often hear they’ve been thinking about this from a very young age – as young as 13 sometimes.
“Without a doubt your daughter is too young, and I don’t know of any UK surgeon who would operate for cosmetic reasons at this age. I’d discourage surgery until about the age of 22, when they’ve started to settle into adulthood, and the breasts have stopped growing.
“Rather than trying to discourage your daughter, have an open discussion. Keep her on-side. She will be better off with your support – remember, all operations have the potential for complications, and not everyone offering advice may have her best interests at heart.
“Try to find out why she wants enlargement. She should only be having surgery to make herself feel better, not to compete with, or impress someone else. Think about going together to discuss options with a sensible and properly qualified plastic surgeon. Then, think together whether surgery is the best option – she may feel very differently about it in a few years’ time, but if not, go back to your surgeon.
“When I see young adults, for example 18-22-year-olds requesting breast enlargement, I am happiest when they turn up with a parent (typically mum). They have often discussed things, and this is a healthy sign. They can also discuss things again after having seen me. I almost always ask them to both return to see me for a second time.
“I’ve also found those who wait and then proceed with surgery are usually happier with the results, perhaps because they better understand and appreciate the realities of what can be achieved. Realistic expectations are very important before going under the knife. Your daughter will almost certainly be better off waiting until she is a little older.”
Surgeon Naveen Cavale