The question about whether or not anyone should have elective cosmetic surgery is a personal one. However, the issue can get a little more complicated if the potential patient is a teenager, especially if they are under 18. Parents and doctors are important members of the decision-making process and there are a number of factors to consider when deciding if plastic surgery is the right option for a teen.
When considering plastic surgery for a teenager, some factors to consider include:
- Physical maturity: It’s best to limit surgeries to features of the body that have completely developed. If surgery is done and a feature grows later, the results could change or become distorted.
- Emotional maturity: Parents and surgeons should take the time to assess how emotionally capable the teen is of making a significant decision such as having plastic surgery.
- Expectations: It’s important that any potential cosmetic surgery patient has realistic expectations about results. This can be especially important with teens who may anticipate having a completely different appearance after surgery.
- Understanding of risks: Teens and parents should be very educated about the potential risks associated with surgery. It’s also important to know how the teen may feel after surgery and how the recovery process may interfere with normal activities. Teens need to appreciate that surgery is not a quick fix to a perceived cosmetic problem.
Once these factors have been considered, it is possible to find that a teenager is, in fact, a good candidate for plastic surgery. Many teens undergo surgeries like otoplasty, rhinoplasty, or breast reduction surgery before reaching adulthood. These procedures can improve a teen’s self confidence, enhance their social experiences at school, and possibly prevent future medical problems.