Kaitlyn Cardwell, granddaughter of Reality TV matriarch Mama June Shannon from "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" had controversial plastic surgery recently. The child is only four but went under the knife to get her extra thumb removed. The little girl's mom Anna "Chickadee" Cardwell, 22, says it's for the best so her daughter doesn't get teased. 

Anna Cardwell expects backlash over surgery

Kaitlyn had an extra digit on one hand, sort of like a branched or fused double thumb. Doctors surgically removed the split off part.

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It will take six months to heal and Mama June's grandkid will be in a cast the entire time. Chickadee Cardwell and her husband Michael fully expect nasty comments over their choice to put their daughter through elective cosmetic surgery. Anna Cardwell posted on Facebook that she knows some folks will be mad, but that they did it to prevent bullying, especially with the way kids can be to each other.

Plastic surgery misnomers

Parents who choose to get elective surgery done on their kids usually get a lot of flak.

Many question the safety of optional procedures and whether living with the deformity is better for kids than a dangerous operation. Parents may be called vain if the corrective surgery just fixes something they deem unsightly. But cosmetic surgeons don't just repair physical imperfections. They repair severed fingers, limbs, nerves, muscles and structural damage. These are a far cry from Kardashian style boob jobs and butt implants. These procedures are medically necessary. 

Questions on cosmetic surgery on kids

Is a double thumb dangerous or just odd looking? Some procedures are partially for appearance and partly for functionality.

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It might be difficult to do certain things--writing, art, sports, holding things--with the extra appendage especially as Kaitlyn gets older. Should parents have kids surgically altered just for looks? Does this just draw attention to the different-looking part? Is the parent concerned about her own sensitivity to birth defects or the child's? Do parents put their paranoia on children and make them feel self-conscious when they might not have otherwise? Is it anyone's business to criticize parents for electing to have arguably unnecessary surgery? One way or the other, little Kaitlyn Cardwell is doing well after her surgery.