Down’s Syndrome and Cosmetic Surgery

Parents of Children with Down Syndrome who have been considering plastic surgery for their child are now being bombarded with a lot of commentaries on the matter, pro or anti surgery that is.

DS-Health also published an article aiming to explain where the concept may have come from, and why this is being carried out to this day.

Down’s Syndrome and Cosmetic Surgery
Cosmetic surgery on kids with down syndrome is the subject of many heated debates. (Photo Credits)

“One of the more commonly shared characteristics of children with Down syndrome is the effect on facial features. The vast majority of children with Down syndrome have extra skin at the inner corners of the eyelids (“epicanthal folds”), slanting rather than horizontal eye openings (“slanted palpebral fissures”), and a flattened nasal bridge. They may also have a flattened mid-facial region and a downturned lower lip. Another common feature is a protruding tongue with an open mouth. In the 1970s, a group of people began recommending plastic surgery as a way to change the facial features common to Down syndrome. The surgeries can be categorized into two groups: surgeries aimed at reducing the size of the tongue, thus attempting to improve function of the tongue and reduce mouth breathing; and the surgeries aimed at improving the appearance of the face, called ‘facial reconstruction.’”

Read the continuation here.

Parents discuss plastic surgery on their children

Online Digital Library JSTOR shared an article on the Journal on Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities. The article was entitled “Parents Speak Out: Facial Plastic Surgery for Children with Down Syndrome.” The article basically discussed the thoughts of 250 families on the issue.

“Facial plastic surgery has been advocated as a way to improve the physical functioning, appearance and social acceptance of children with Down syndrome. However, there are also those opposed to this surgery due to concerns about its effectiveness, and potential physical and psychological risks. This qualitative study examined comments of 250 parents of children with Down syndrome and categorized their responses into positive and negative themes.”

Download a copy of the article here.

Discussions on Plastic Surgery and Children with Down Syndrome

Online Publication Welfare Society Territory meanwhile published a report on the stand of some sectors on performing cosmetic or plastic surgery on children with Down syndrome.

“Far from doing any moralism, the need or egoism of some parents when putting their children through painful surgery – meant to have them “normal” rather than looking at their happiness –  leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. There is no evidence, in fact, that plastic surgery improves the self-acceptance of a person or child affected by this syndrome. In contrast, the aspect mutation is often counter-productive for the development of their identity.”

Take a look at the rest of the write-up here.

Cosmetic surgery on children with Down syndrome may lead to heated discussions, but what it important is every family can decide for themselves on what they think is best for their child.

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