Numerous news outlets have pointed out the recent rise in plastic surgery among teenagers. There are several reasons behind this increase, including the influence of social media and celebrities. While the majority of plastic surgery procedures have been deemed inappropriate for teenagers, there are some exceptions. In this blog post, Dr. Ronald Schuster shares three plastic surgery procedures that are considered to be appropriate for teenagers under certain circumstances.
Rhinoplasty, also known as a nose job, is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed today. The procedure is popular for cosmetic reasons, as it can resize an overly large nose, straighten the bridge of the nose or remove an unattractive bump. Rhinoplasty can also address medical/structural issues, such as a deviated septum that interferes with breathing. The procedure is typically not performed until the nose reaches its adult size, which occurs at about age 15 or 16 for girls and 17 or 18 for boys.
Overly large or protruding ears (excessive ear cartilage) can be a source of self-consciousness. For many children and teens, it may also be a cause of teasing or bullying. Otoplasty (ear pinning surgery) can adjust the size of the ears and reshape protruding ears. Otoplasty is the only cosmetic procedure advisable for young children as young as age five, which is when most children’s ears stop growing.
It’s common for both teenage girls and women to experience back, neck and shoulder pain due to enlarged breasts. Overly large breasts may also cause women and girls to feel embarrassed or self-conscious about their appearance. Breast reduction can be performed on teenage girls as young as age 15 who experience physical and emotional discomfort caused by overly large breasts.
Boys too, can experience abnormally large breast tissue, a condition known as gynecomastia. Enlarged breast tissue can be a source of embarrassment as well as painful chafing and skin irritation. In many cases, the excess tissue goes away near the end of puberty, but if the condition persists, male breast reduction surgery can help. The procedure is typically performed on teenage boys if the condition has been present for at least two years.
Patients younger than age 18 must have parental consent before undergoing plastic surgery. Before allowing your teenager to pursue plastic surgery, be sure of the following:
Your teenager must have realistic goals. Like all patients, young and old, your teenager must understand the limitations of plastic surgery. Plastic surgery has the potential to achieve life-changing results, and help patients become more confident. However, it cannot solve all of the patient’s body image problems. Discuss with your teenager what their plastic surgery expectations are and what exactly they wish to achieve.
Your teenager must be sufficiently mature. All patients must be able to tolerate the discomfort that comes with a surgical procedure. Plastic surgery is not recommended for teens who are prone to mood swings or erratic behavior, who are abusing drugs or who are being treated for clinical depression or other mental illness.
In addition, surgical procedures of any kind require planning and several weeks (even months) of recovery. Because of this, many teen patients undergo surgery during the summer, before school resumes.
If your child or teen has requested plastic surgery and you would like to consult with a professional, please contact Dr. Schuster. Schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Schuster by calling (410) 902-9800 today.