In the past, with some rare exceptions, plastic surgery was considered to be for adults only. However, times change. Recent statistics collected by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that the number of teenagers who choose to undergo plastic surgery procedures is increasing annually. With this in mind, it’s important to consider when plastic surgery is appropriate for teenagers.
In my experience, those who are interested in plastic surgery in their teenage years are generally looking for more minor, subtle aesthetic improvements to help improve their self-esteem. As medical advancements have been made over time, reconstructive procedures have become safer for teenagers who are not comfortable or satisfied with a certain aspect of their appearance.
Not all cosmetic procedures are necessarily considered appropriate for teenage patients. However, there are three plastic surgeries that are most-commonly performed on teenagers. Last year, ear surgery (or otoplasty) was the most commonly-performed cosmetic surgery for teenage patients. Ear surgery is meant to help those affected by large, protruding ears that can make the face seem unbalanced. Male breast reduction surgery is popular for males in their teens who suffer from gynecomastia, or enlarged male breasts caused by excess glandular breast tissue. For girls, breast reduction can provide relief for young women dealing with the physical and emotional strain of excessively large and heavy breasts. Reconstructive breast surgery can also be used to assist teenage girls who suffer from Poland syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes breast asymmetry due to underdevelopment or absence of the chest muscles on one side of the body.
As a board-certified plastic surgeon, part of my responsibility is ensuring that every patient that I work with is both emotionally and physically prepared for their procedure. I need to know that my patient and their parents are aware of the benefits and potential risks of the prospective surgery before making any final decisions. In some cases when working with teens, I do believe that waiting can be the best course of action. Lastly, it’s important that the patient’s parents or guardians are involved in the process in order to prevent any misunderstandings and help ensure the safety of the teen patient throughout their plastic surgery journey.
Regardless of your age, the first step in undergoing any cosmetic surgery procedure is researching and understanding how surgery can help achieve your aesthetic goals. Once your mind is made, the next step is meeting an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon for a consultation. During a consultation with teenage patients, I thoroughly discuss every treatment option to help the patient and their parents make the best, most informed decision possible. If you’re interested in cosmetic surgery, please contact the office of Allyson B. Maske to schedule your plastic surgery consultation today. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more plastic surgery tips, news, updates, and more.