Teens and Plastic Surgery
What Are Common Plastic Surgery Procedures for Teens?
Some plastic surgery procedures, like breast enlargement, liposuction, and cheek implants are generally considered inappropriate for teens, except in unusual cases. But other procedures may be beneficial.
Let's look at some common plastic surgery procedures for teens:
Rhinoplasty (nose reshaping or a nose job) is the most common cosmetic procedure requested by teens. The nose must have reached its adult size before surgery can be considered. The nose has usually finished growing by age 15 or 16 in girls, and age 16 or 17 in boys.
Otoplasty (ear pinback) may be done after the age of about 5 or 6 years.
Chin augmentation or reshaping the chin may be done during the teenage years.
Breast asymmetry correction may be done when one breast is different from the other in size or shape.
Breast reduction can benefit teen girls as young as age 15 who are embarrassed by very large breasts, or who are having shoulder pain, back pain, or breathing difficulty because of excessively large breasts.
Gynecomastia is a procedure used to treat excessive breast development in male teens. Usually, this condition disappears on its own. But if the condition is severe, this procedure may be done.
Laser treatment or dermabrasion (a sanding technique) may be used to smooth skin scarring caused by acne. Collagen injections are also sometimes used to repair skin defects.
Things for Teens to Consider Before Plastic Surgery
The ASPS offers these guidelines for teens considering plastic surgery:
- The teen must initiate the request (rather than say, a parent) and must have realistic goals and expectations.
- The plastic surgeon should be experienced and board-certified in a specialty recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, including the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
- The surgery should be done in an accredited surgical facility with the ability to handle rare complications.
- The surgery must be done under a policy of full, informed consent. That means the details of the procedure are understood and agreed to by the patient and the patient's parent or guardian.