In the past, plastic surgery was mainly associated with adult patients looking to make a change in their appearance thanks to the aging process or because they experienced some sort of trauma to the face. However, more teenagers than ever before are undergoing plastic surgery to alter their appearance. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were almost 230.000 cosmetic procedures performed on patients ages 13-17 as recently as 2017. When asked why so many younger patients are turning to teen plastic surgery, many doctors say the growth of social media is playing a big part in the decision making process. In addition, many teens feel bullied by their peers so they want to fix a feature of their body that they think will stop them from being bullied by others. Plus, there are some teens that want to have teen plastic surgery in order to address a health issue.
When it comes time to make the decision about teen plastic surgery, parents should have the information they need to know to determine if the teen plastic surgery procedure is appropriate for the age and maturity of the teenager in question.
Information Parents Need to Know about Teen Plastic Surgery
Medical experts say it is important for parents to know the reasons or motives behind the desire to undergo teen plastic surgery. They should consult with a board-certified doctor to make sure the procedure of choice is appropriate for the age of the teenager wanting to undergo the surgery. In addition, the consultation appointment should cover the limitations and risks involved with having the surgery. Doctors also need to meet with the teenager to make sure the person wants to have a procedure because it is something the teen desires as opposed to making someone else happy.
Here are some common questions to ask a teenager looking to have teen plastic surgery:
- Does the teenager want the surgery to have plastic surgery to look like a favorite TV or movie star?
- Is the teen trying to imitate a look they have seen on the red carpet or in a music video?
- Is the teen looking to compete with the appearance of others on social media?
- Does the teen want to alter his, or her, appearance because of being teased or bullied at school?
- Is there a legitimate medical reason for the teen plastic surgery?
- The cosmetic surgeon, as well as the parents of the teen plastic surgery patient, must talk with the teenager so they can determine the social and psychological impact that the teen plastic surgery will have on the patient. These factors must be taken into account when the final decision is being made about whether or not the plastic surgery procedure of choice is appropriate or necessary for the patient.
Teen Plastic Surgery Choices Appropriate for Teen Patients
Parents can rest easy knowing there are some teen plastic surgery choices that are appropriate for teen patients. These teen plastic surgery procedures include:
- Rhinoplasty – This teen plastic surgery procedure is performed to reshape or alter the appearance of the nose. It can also be performed to help improve the ability of the teen patient to breathe. While many teens are teased about the size of their nose, doctors recommend waiting until the nasal growth of the nose is complete before having rhinoplasty. For female teen plastic surgery patients, this is normally between the ages of 15-16 and between the ages of 16-18 for male teen plastic surgery patients. Altering or improving the look of the nose can have a positive impact on the teens by giving them more confidence in their appearance.
- Otoplasty – For teen patients that feel their ears are too large; otoplasty can reshape and reduce the size of the ears. Otoplasty can also be performed to correct any deformities that have been present since birth or have been the result of trauma to the ears. Otoplasty can be performed as early as five or six years of age because the ears are almost fully grown by that age.
- Breast Reduction – A teen plastic surgery procedure performed on female patients to reduce or eliminate back and neck pain. Doctors say that teen patients need to wait until the breasts of the patient have finished developing which can be as late as 19 years of age before having breast reduction surgery.
- Non-invasive Procedures – Not all of the cosmetic surgery choices for teens are invasive in nature. Many teen plastic surgery patients want to have cosmetic skin procedures such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion and laser skin resurfacing to improve the look of the skin and get a more rejuvenated look by getting rid of blemishes and acne scars.
Parents Should Not be Afraid of Teen Plastic Surgery
There are many parents that worry about the message teen plastic surgery sends to younger people. Parents need to realize that they should be open and honest when they schedule a consultation appointment with a board-certified plastic surgeon. As long as the parents and the teen patient are open about the reasons the teen wants to have plastic surgery; the experienced plastic surgeon will be able to make a qualified decision regarding the best teen plastic surgery option. In addition, the doctor will also be able to determine if the teenager is an ideal physical and mental candidate for teen plastic surgery.