Does Plastic Surgery Have an Age Limit?
Did you know that there are pediatric plastic surgeons? They perform both reconstructive and cosmetic surgery for individuals under the age of 18. While reconstructive surgery is done to correct a physical defect that affects a child’s ability to function, cosmetic surgery is done to improve physical appearance.
The real question is, “is there a right age to start getting plastic surgery?” This can be a thorny subject, as there are no specific laws in the U.S. that prevent teenagers from undergoing cosmetic surgery. However, parental consent is needed for patients that are under the age of 18. Because of this, it is up to the parents to help their children make responsible and well-thought-out decisions.
In some instances, cosmetic surgery for teens can be appropriate and safely done. In 2013 the American Society of Plastic Surgeons published that the most common surgeries for patients 13-19 years of age included the following.
Breast Augmentation: The FDA considers breast augmentation for individuals younger than 18 years old to be an off-label use. This procedure involves placing breast implants into the breasts to enhance their size and projection.
Rhinoplasty: Rhinoplasty, also known as a nose job, is the most popular aesthetic procedure performed on teens. This procedure can adjust the size, shape, and projection of the nose to make it more proportionate to the rest of the face.
Breast Reduction: This procedure is often performed on girls with very large breasts that cause restricted physical activity as well as neck, back, and shoulder pain. In most cases, surgeons will wait until a girl’s breasts have reached full development before performing this procedure.
Otoplasty: This procedure is often performed for children aged five or six to reposition ears that are sticking out.
Liposuction: Liposuction is performed to eliminate pockets of fat that cannot be eliminated with diet and exercise alone.
If your teen expresses interest in plastic surgery and you are supportive of that decision, your first step should be to schedule a consultation appointment with a board-certified plastic surgeon. However, there are some conditions that your teenager must meet in order to be considered for surgery. First, they must initiate the request for surgery. It is never suitable for a parent to suggest that their child undergo plastic surgery. Second, your teen must voice a specific concern and have realistic goals, as well as show maturity when it comes to understanding the procedure and its risks.
When anyone of any age is choosing to undergo a surgical procedure, it is important that they check the credentials of their surgeon. For the best possible results, be sure to seek out a board-certified plastic surgeon with ample experience performing your procedure of choice.
If you are interested in learning more about plastic surgery procedures for teens, or if you have questions for a plastic surgeon regarding your teen’s request for plastic surgery, contact Dr. Angelchik today. With certifications from the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Dr. Angelchik will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.