Recent reports reveal that Australian women, some as young as 18, are opting to go overseas to get a cosmetic-surgery overhaul, all in a bid to reclaim their youth.
One such individual is single mother Ambah Young, 18, who is heading to Malaysia in a fortnight to have a tummy tuck, a boob job and a "designer" vagina procedure.
AdvertisementYoung, who has a two-year-old daughter and is borrowing 13,000 dollars from a friend to have the surgery, said she felt old and hoped to reclaim her youth and regain confidence.
"After the birth of my daughter, my body never went back to the way it was before," News.com.au quoted her as saying.
"I'm having this surgery so that I can feel my age again," she added.
But the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery has raised concerns about the appropriateness of such procedures on someone so young, along with the added risks of having them done overseas.
Melbourne-based Gorgeous Getaways director Louise Cogan said she was aware of a few 18-year-olds who had travelled to Malaysia for cosmetic procedures, though most clients were aged in their 30s to 60s.
"I've seen Ambah's photos and she really is a very suitable candidate for surgery because she has an overhanging tummy," Cogan said.
"The only way she can actually improve is through surgery. She can't diet, she can't exercise because her skin is very saggy," she revealed.
Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery chief executive John Flynn said 18 was very young for somebody to consider those procedures.
"She's probably quite vulnerable in many ways and I think the medical service owes her a duty of care to make sure that the procedures she's planning to be done are appropriate and there's a big question mark over that," Dr Flynn said.
He said as well as concerns about the quality of the surgery, the risk of complications soared with multiple surgeries.
Melbourne University psychiatrist Prof David Castle said young people should first be assessed for underlying psychological problems before major cosmetic procedures.
"Sometimes they believe their psychological distress will be cured by some cosmetic procedure, and it never is, it usually makes things worse," Prof Castle said.
About 400 Australians travel to Malaysia through Gorgeous Getaways each year, with 80 percent having two or more procedures done.
It is one of a burgeoning number of businesses specialising in overseas cosmetic-surgery holidays, which draw thousands of Australians each year.
"They'll either have the combination of facelift and breast, or facelift and tummy tuck and almost everyone has a little bit of liposuction," Cogan said.
She also added that including flights and accommodation, cosmetic procedures cost about half what they did in Australia.