Teens and Plastic Surgery
We’ve all heard the stories of teens wanting to look their best for prom or senior pictures. But some teens are going to extremes in order to stand apart from the crowd. While some procedures may be necessary for health reasons, there are number of factors to consider before going under the knife prior to adulthood.
THE MOST COMMON PROCEDURES FOR TEENS
On average, teens make up a very small percentage of the total plastic surgery procedures that are completed each year in the U.S., roughly 1.8%. Even though this is a small amount, the most common procedures that are performed on teens include:
- Misshaped noses (rhinoplasty)
- Prominent or protruding ears (otoplasty)
- Overly large breasts (breast reduction in females, gynecomastia surgery in males
- Severe acne scarring (chemical peels and laser resurfacing)
- Disproportionate body features (liposuction)
A common request of teen girls is that of breast augmentation. Generally speaking, 30% of the breast augmentation operations that are performed on girls are purely for cosmetic reasons, 37% for severe asymmetry, 11% for severe underdevelopment of breasts and 12% for tubular breast deformity. While peer and societal pressure may be the driving force behind girls wanting perfectly shaped breasts, breast augmentations are generally not recommended for girls under the age of 18, unless prescribed buy a doctor.
5 QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE GOING UNDER THE KNIFE:
As with any surgery, all cosmetic procedures should be carefully considered and researched prior to going under the knife. Teens’ changing bodies can add extra complications to any type of surgery, so we recommend that you ask the following questions while contemplating a cosmetic procedure for your teen;
- Does your child demonstrate the emotional maturity and understand the limitations of plastic surgery?
- Is there adequate communication between the surgeon and teenager (and parent) about what results are desired and expected?
- Is the Plastic Surgeon Board Certified? How many of these procedures do they do? Are there before and after photos that you can view?
- What are the online reviews of this surgeon and their past work? Does the Plastic Surgeon have hospital privileges for the procedures that your teen will be undergoing?
- Is the Surgery Center accredited? Who will be providing the anesthesia, a Board Certified Anesthesiologist?
WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW
If you and your child have decided to move forward with a cosmetic procedure, there are several facts to keep in mind:
- Health Insurance generally does not cover elective cosmetic surgical procedures.
- Certain milestones in growth and physical maturity must be achieved before undergoing plastic surgery. Appropriate age minimums for each procedure vary and should be discussed at length with the plastic surgeon.
- Both the teenager and parent should feel comfortable with the chosen surgeon, staff of the surgeon’s office, and operating room facility.
- Recovery times will vary; depending on what type of surgery is being performed. Makes you have a clear understanding of your child’s recovery needs in order to plan around school or sports commitments.
THE REALITIES OF TEEN PLASTIC SURGERY
Cultural phenomena, social media and the unrelenting pressures on teens to conform to beauty standards can make it increasingly difficult for teens to feel confident. Make sure your child understands that styles change and what might be “in” today could be passé tomorrow. While some procedures are far less invasive then others, careful consideration needs to be given to all augmentations made to a child’s body prior to becoming an adult.