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When is Teenage Plastic Surgery Acceptable?

Know When It’s Appropriate for Your Teen to Undergo Plastic Surgery

In the past, plastic surgery was largely limited to adults who wanted to look younger. However, plastic surgery among younger people, especially teenagers, has been on the rise in recent years. The uptick in teenage plastic surgery rates may be driven by celebrity trends and the reduced stigma around having plastic surgery. But should teens be having plastic surgery at all? As board-certified plastic surgeons, we wanted to share our thoughts on teenage plastic surgery.

Appropriate Plastic Surgery Procedures for Teens

There are some plastic surgery options that are safe and may help teens feel and look their best. For example:

  • Skin care services: There are a number of non-surgical skin care procedures that may be appropriate for teens who want to reduce acne scars, even out skin discoloration, and dramatically improve the overall appearance of their skin. At Northeastern Plastic Surgery, we have an on-staff aesthetician who can perform microneedling, extractions, and SilkPeel® Dermalinfusion, which are all non-invasive methods aimed at improving the appearance and health of skin.
  • LiposuctionGynecomastia, or the growth of male breast tissue, may be caused by side effects of medication, obesity, or hormonal imbalances. While not dangerous, male teens with enlarged breasts may deal with depression, anxiety, and are often teased and bullied. Once boys fully mature and slim down, the breasts will usually disappear on their own. Otherwise, liposuction, a minimally invasive procedure to remove the excess fat, is one possible solution for reducing breast size. Other solutions may include managing weight through diet and exercise, adjusting medications, and speaking to an endocrinologist about hormone levels.
  • Otoplasty: This procedure reshapes and corrects prominent ears. Again, there is no physical harm in having prominent ears, but constant bullying and teasing may interfere with the teenager’s enjoyment of school and have a lasting psychological impact. Human ears are generally adult-size at age 7, so there’s little to no risk of the ears returning to their original position post-surgery.
  • Rhinoplasty: Rhinoplasty, or nose-reshaping, is a common surgical procedure for teens who wish to treat birth defects or who may have difficulty breathing due to the shape of their nose. Many also opt for rhinoplasty for aesthetic purposes. Whether or not it’s appropriate for a teen to have a nose job should be determined by a board-certified plastic surgeon on a case-by-case basis.
  • Breast Reduction Surgery: Although rare, some girls may develop very large breasts in their teen years, which may result in undesirable health conditions including poor posture; skin ulcers; and consistent pain in the back, neck, and shoulders. In addition, oversized breasts can interfere with sleep and athletic pursuits. In these cases, breast reduction surgery may be called for to improve the teen’s quality of life.

Plastic Surgery Procedures Teens Should Avoid

Teens are still growing and developing; so many procedures should be avoided altogether. For example:

  • Dermal fillers: Fillers have seen a rise in popularity as celebrities enhance their lips and cheeks to sometimes extreme proportions. Most plastic surgeons recommend against the use of dermal facial fillers during the teen years.
  • Botox: Although preventative Botox is becoming popular among younger adults, it’s not recommended that teens use Botox as a preventive measure. It’s simply unnecessary.
  • Breast enhancement surgery: Teenage girls’ breasts are still developing and changing during their teen years. Breast enhancements should not be considered by anyone until their bodies have fully developed and stopped growing.

If you are the parent of a teenager who is interested in plastic surgery, then be sure to consult with a reputable plastic surgeon like Dr. Fodero. He will talk to you and your teen in depth about the procedure and help you weigh the potential pros and cons. In many cases, your teen will be encouraged to wait as time and physical development may naturally give them the changes they want to see.

Northeastern Plastic Surgery uses the latest plastic surgery techniques to perform a variety of procedures. Dr. Fodero and the staff are very friendly, helpful, and available to answer any questions you may have. Please contact us today to learn more about the services we offer.