Plastic Surgery and Teens: FAQs
What are the main reasons teens seek out plastic surgery?
Small children undergo plastic reconstructive surgery to correct function caused by congenital abnormalities such as cleft lip and palate. On the other hand, older children and teens seek out cosmetic plastic procedures that have more aesthetic goal that has a lot to do with improving confidence and self-esteem.
Why is the popularity of cosmetic surgery in teens increasing?
These days cosmetic plastic surgery is becoming very acceptable in general. More teenagers are having it done because parents are more accepting of it and are more sensitive to the role that appearance plays in self-image and confidence in teens.
What is the most popular cosmetic procedure among teens?
Rhinoplasty is popular both among boys and girls but should not be performed until after the nose is fully developed, which is generally about age 14 in girls and age 15 in boys.
What other procedures are common in teens?
Otoplasty (ear pinning surgery) is a common procedure for kids around 6 years of age who are teased mercilessly by their peers as “having Dumbo ears“. Breast reduction is quite common. Often young girls develop overly large breasts and this can cause physical symptoms such as back pain but may also affect the teen’s self-esteem and comfort with her body. The procedure is also increasingly common in boys (also known as gynecomastia). Of course, some young women want breast enlargement because they want to have normal-sized breasts that are harmonious with their body. There are also young women whose breasts grow to be noticeably different sizes, and so surgery is done to make the breasts symmetrical.
Do teens really understand the realistic outcomes of plastic surgery as well as the permanence of procedures?
It is important that the surgeon and the parents of the teen help the teen understand that the decision to undergo surgery is a serious decision and should not be made lightly. There are risks and the teen and the parent(s) need to be made aware of them before proceeding with any kind of surgery. During your consultation with Dr. Jan Zemplenyi at the Bel-Red Center for Aesthetic Surgery in Bellevue you will have time to discuss and address realistic goals, benefits, risks and alternatives so that you will have the information to make the right decision for you.
Are there legal limits to what cosmetic procedures a teenagers can have?
There are no legal regulations that say what procedures teens can or cannot have because there are often special circumstances and each case should be judged on an individual basis. There are definitely cases in which certain procedures may not seem appropriate for teen but are in fact medically appropriate.