Can Plastic Surgery Reinforce Bullying Victims Self-Confidence?

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (January 15, 2014) -- Teenagers are taking an empowering step to overcome the problem of bullying. Some kids born with facial deformities are turning to plastic surgery to end bullying by eliminating some of the physical problems that have made them the targets of bullies.

While Fort Lauderdale plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Wigoda realizes plastic surgery may be seen as an extreme measure to consider for a person so young, he believes it can have a very positive effect.

“When you have the choice of a child being bullied and the potential psychological effects it will have on them as compared to having a surgical procedure that can make them look better, but more importantly, lift their self esteem, it seems like an easy decision,” Wigoda states.

Dr. Wigoda points to the admirable efforts of a New York charity, the Little Baby Face Foundation, which offers free plastic surgery to low-income children.  After garnering media attention for taking on one case involving a bullied teen, the nonprofit has received an influx of applicants who have complained that because of abnormalities such as a large nose or misshapen eyes, they have been relentlessly picked on and become increasingly isolated at school.

Wigoda realizes that young men and women who are often picked on for their appearance want to take charge of their lives, and for them, plastic surgery may be an option.

“Unfortunately, its very difficult for victims to control their bullies, so when all other options are exhausted, there is nothing wrong with considering a small elective procedure that doesn’t change who these kids are, but aids them in becoming more confident”, he explains, “It is true that it may not be a solution for everyone, but there are certainly cases where surgery can be used as a tool so that they no longer feel like victims.”

While it is true that plastic surgery alone will not end bullying, Wigoda believes that when teens are properly counseled and have a good family support system, plastic surgery can reinforce a bullying victim’s self-confidence.

“While there are risks with surgery, the risks are fairly small in most cases. It may seem crazy, but a two hour procedure can change someone's life immensely.”

If you have questions when it comes to bullying and plastic surgery, contact Dr. Wigoda at 954.463.7088.