Preteen Plastic Surgery: A Lipo Controversy

The most “work” the average 13-year-old has had is braces. For 13-year-old Brooke Bates, it’s liposuction, a tummy tuck, and now, lap band surgery. According to ABC News, the Texas teen’s up-and-down battle with her weight has triggered controversy because of her young age. Brooke was a 220-lb. 12-year-old when she underwent her first two procedures but ended up regaining most of the 40 pounds she lost after the surgeries. This spurred her to get the stomach band, which will control her hunger urges.

“I gained the weight back and it was depressing,” Brooke told “Good Morning America.” “But now that I had the lap band done, everything is just working out great.”

Preteen Plastic Surgery

Brooke: Before & AfterBrooke: Before & After

But this latest procedure has just stirred up more drama. In the United States, the ABC article states, most doctors “don’t perform gastric lap-band surgery unless a patient is at least 18 years old, has a body mass index of 40 or higher or weighs at least twice his or her ideal weight.” To bypass this red tape, Brooke’s parents took her to Mexico for the surgery, against her doctor’s advice.

“It seemed to be very safe over there and the clinic Brooke had it done in was very clean and the doctor has lots of experience … so I was fairly confident,” Brooke’s mother, Cindy Bates, said.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons notes that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of adolescents undergoing cosmetic surgery over the past decade. The article says that many doctors “worry that getting weight loss surgeries so young can be detrimental in the long term and don’t address underlying issues.”

“It’s no walk in the park,” Brooke says. “I don’t think getting cut and going through surgery is the easy way out.”

What do you think? Would you let your teen undergo cosmetic surgery? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.