Teenagers can have awkward features that can sometimes benefit from cosmetic plastic surgery. The teenage patient needs special consideration. The growing body, degree of deformity, what is affected, and decision making ability are among some of the important factors. "How old do you have to be" is a complex question that is best explored during a consultation after better understanding the problem.
Society helps form the concept of body image. Television, movies, magazines, and advertising often idealize the human form. During the malleable teenage years, appearance is often an emotional issue. Self image and acceptance impact the balance between enjoyment and stress. Teen peer pressure can be strong. Other adolescents can be cruel. Certain body features can be very difficult to deal with and can shape one's interactions.
The exploration of each teenage patient's concerns should take some time:
- to learn what the patient wants
- a scrutiny of the parent child relationship
- to learn what plastic surgery may have to offer
Not rushing to make a decision permits reflection, a change of mind, and a better understanding. Important factors include:
- What part of the body is involved
- Growing body - different parts of the body mature at different ages
- Degree of the problem or deformity
- Age of social interaction
- Emotional maturity
- Realistic goals
- The teenager is the one that perceives a problem
Some teenagers recognize something is "wrong" but do not understand why they are having problems. Other adolescents have an idea but do not know how to approach their parents. In other cases something bothers the parents and not the teen. Parents have the legal and social responsibility for the decision making for any child.
This website can be an effective tool for dialogue between a teenager and parents. Brows through the many pages about a specific problem. Exchange concerns and thoughts in the comfort of your own home. Then set up a consultation or preliminary remote package with Dr. Bermant to better explore what plastic surgery may have to offer.
Otoplasty or sculpture of the external ears can pin back protruding and reshape deformed ears. This surgery can be done any time after about the age of 4 years.
Rhinoplasty nasal sculpture is best after the nose has grown at least 90% of its final size. This varies from person to person and can be as early as 13-14 in girls and about a year older in boys. Learn more about nasal surgery for teens.
Male Breast Reduction for Gynecomastia or big breasts in men can be a significant psychosocial concern. "How old before breast reduction?" is a common question. Growth that has not resolved after 2 years will often not go away on its own. Timing is best after breast growth has stabilized or become so massive.
Large breasts in women can cause many physical and emotional problems. Female Breast Reduction can sculpt tissues to a more reasonable size, symmetry, and shape.
Liposuction can sculpt localized areas of fat. However, it is not a treatment for obesity. After massive weight loss, Body Lift Surgery or Tummy Tuck Abdominoplasty may be necessary to help with loose hanging skin. These are not operations to lose weight, but to deal with suspending hanging loose tissue after losing weight.
Each person is different. Consultation is the best place to explore such issues.
Ethics of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery in Adolescents
Dr. Bermant was invited by the American Medical Association's Virtual Mentor (Ethics Journal of the AMA) to comment about Plastic Surgery / Cosmetic Surgery for the Teenage / Adolescent Patient. Read the PDF version of Ethics of Teenage Plastic Surgery
"After readings several articles and websites devoted to this topic, we found your website to be well written and even-handed and we would love to have your insight on this important topic."