More graduates are receiving plastic surgery gifts

More graduates are receiving plastic surgery gifts
Graduates receive plastic surgery as gifts

Move over, shiny sports cars, more graduates than ever are requesting cosmetic procedures as gifts following their educational careers according to multiple news sources. Whether they're graduating from high school or college, a rising number of these individuals are seeking surgeries to correct or enhance features they've been self-conscious about their whole lives, such as ears, noses and breasts.

Growing trend, year after year
According to statistics from ASAPS, Americans spent the most money on plastic surgery since 2008, with more than 11 million surgeries performed and over 12 billion dollars earned in 2013. While a number of factors may have influenced these figures, such as higher disposable incomes and greater influences from the media, a team of surgeons from ASAPS explained that the rise of interest among younger patients - specifically teens - may have had a significant influence.

More than 3,300 girls ages 19 and younger received breast augmentations in 2013, which, one surgeon explained, may be attributed to graduations. The doctor, along with a team of other medical professionals, explained that his practice generally sees a rise in the number of operations it performs around peak graduation times, including the months of April, May and June. 

"Surgery as a graduation gift is definitely a pronounced theme that we see every year," he said, as quoted by the Houston Chronicle. "Many of these were paid for by parents as a congratulatory gift, but several of the patients will in fact finance the procedures themselves." Some teens opt for a procedure prior to venturing off to college while others are seeking to right a biological wrong they feel as though they've been carrying since birth, but either way, more parents are providing assistance to these teens after graduation.

Each patient is assessed individually, Dr. Michael Edwards, a plastic surgeon from Las Vegas and President of ASAPS explained. He has turned down patients who are still growing, not mentally mature enough or have unrealistic expectations. With some surgeries, like breast augmentation , "they also need to know that there is a possibility for a surgery down the line for further adjustments."

Trends affecting graduation operations
One girl who received a pair of D-cup breast implants for graduation explained to NBC News that she and her mother had been discussing the possibility of surgery since she was 16 years old. After having a serious conversation with her parents and a board-certified surgeon, she decided to dedicate her graduation funds toward the procedure in an attempt to bolster her self-confidence and overall happiness.

In the same article, one surgeon explained that more teens may request this type of unconventional graduation present if their parents have had plastic surgery in the past. One mother-daughter pair said they opted to have similar chin surgeries - albeit several years apart - to correct a recessed chin the women shared.