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Guidelines by American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for Teenagers before Cosmetic or Plastic Surgery

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Teenage cosmetic surgery is a hotly debated topic. Many teens and young adults choose to go in for aesthetic and corrective procedures to enhance physical appeal and boost self-confidence. However, plastic surgeons should be very careful when screening teenagers for cosmetic procedures. Most experts agree that a patient should have reached a certain level of maturity and suggest comprehensive patient evaluation before performing plastic surgery on a teenager.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has laid down some guidelines recommendations for evaluating teenagers considering cosmetic plastic surgery:

  • Physical maturity is the first consideration. The feature in question has to be fully developed to benefit from a cosmetic procedure. Altering a feature that has not fully developed can affect growth and even negate the effects of plastic surgery at a later stage.
  • Considering the patient’s emotional maturity and expectations is important. The teenager should be well informed about what they can expect from a procedure. If they undergo cosmetic treatment with unrealistic expectations, they could be disappointed.
  • Choosing the surgeon also really matters especially for a teenage procedure. There can be rare complications which only a qualified, experienced surgeon can handle.
  • Informed consent is the important factor for a teenage cosmetic procedure. Both teenagers and their parents must have a clear idea on the details of what the procedure involves including rare risks and recovery time. They should be prepared to follow the surgeon’s instructions clearly for a positive outcome.

Experts point out that the concept of distorted body image is common among adolescents and that this usually resolves as they progress into adulthood. The bottom line is that it is important for patients and their parents to critically evaluate all the available information including the risks involved and take a decision based on the benefits that cosmetic surgery can realistically provide.

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