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Teenagers and Plastic Surgery – Important Considerations

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Teenagers and Plastic Surgery - Important ConsiderationsRecent reports indicate that body contouring in NYC is no longer confined to adults. According to a recent American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) report, plastic surgery patients are getting younger and the number of teens seeking plastic surgery is increasing.

Most teenagers are extremely conscious about their looks. Teens seeking cosmetic surgery are usually inspired by celebrity trends, social media, the need to conform, and the desire for perfect selfies. Many teens report that improving their appearance boosts their self-esteem and confidence. Some parents even give plastic surgery as a gift for certain occasions such as graduation. The rise in requests for teen enhancement and cosmetic surgery has given rise to important questions — can teens have plastic surgery and if the answer is yes, when is it appropriate for them to have a procedure?

The most common surgeries teens consider are breast augmentation, male breast reduction (gynecomastia treatment), rhinoplasty, and otoplasty. Breast augmentation in New York City improves breast volume, contour, symmetry and overall appearance. However, teenage girls and their parents should know that breast enhancement should not be performed on those younger than 18 years. Rhinoplasty or surgery to reshape the nose can be performed when the nose has attained 90% of its development, which is usually at age 13 or 14 in girls and 15 or 16 in boys.

Male breast reduction NYC surgery is in demand by boys who want to address gynecomastia or overdevelopment of male breast tissue. The condition can be caused by hormonal imbalance, medication side effects, obesity, or other reasons. Usually, male breasts attain a natural appearance when boys attain full maturity and slim down. Breast reduction surgery would be appropriate for teenage boys in severe cases, especially if it can resolve the psychological or emotional problems that the condition causes. NYC surgeons perform the procedure using the minimally invasive ultrasound-assisted VASERlipo system.

Teens also request noninvasive procedures to improve the overall appearance of the skin such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing for improving acne scars and skin discoloration.

However, any surgery involves risk and teens must have a proper understanding of the risks and the limitations of plastic surgery. Also, not every plastic surgery procedure is appropriate for a teenager. For example, surgeries that are designed to rejuvenate the face or to make a person look more youthful are usually inappropriate for teens. At the same time, they can have an eyelid lift if ptosis or drooping eyelids obstruct vision. Here are some important considerations governing plastic surgery for teens:

  • Be emotionally mature, have realistic goals and understand what the surgery can and can’t do.
  • Specifically ask or request the procedure – it is not advisable for the parent to suggest plastic surgery.
  • Understand both the risks and benefits of a potential change, especially if it is a permanent, surgical procedure.
  • Have the ability to follow the directions for the preparation before the surgery and during recovery.

Family support is important for teens to get through even a minor corrective procedure. As ASPS notes, this will promote the physical and emotional safety of the teen patient.

The most critical element for optimal outcomes, patient safety, and proper decision-making is to find a well-qualified, experienced and empathetic plastic surgeon. The right surgeon would have the expertise to guide teen patient in taking an informed decision.

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