Navigating Cosmetic Surgery for Teens

Orthognathic Surgery Before & After - Surgical Arts Centre

According to the AMA Journal of Ethics, over 200,000 teenagers undergo a cosmetic surgical procedure each year. What cosmetic surgeries do teens request, and how can we ensure that these surgeries are the right choice for people who are so young?

Common Cosmetic Surgeries For Teens

Adults usually elect to get cosmetic surgery in order to correct a feature, enhance a feature, combat aging, or stand out in a crowd. However, the vast majority of teen cosmetic surgeries are to correct abnormalities and overly prominent features. The most common cosmetic surgeries for teens today include:

  • Rhinoplasty (nose surgery).
  • Otoplasty (ear surgery).
  • Breast reduction surgery (in both girls and boys).
  • Breast surgery to correct for asymmetrical breasts.
  • Acne scar treatment (such as microdermabrasion, laser skin resurfacing, and chemical peels).
  • Orthognathic Surgery (Correction of abnormal growth of the facial skeleton)

A minority of teen cosmetic surgeries include traditionally adult procedures, such as breast augmentation and liposuction.

Before Consenting To A Cosmetic Procedure For Your Teen

Those under the age of 18 must have consent from a parent before a cosmetic procedure. What questions should you ask – and discuss with your teen – when making this important decision?

  • Was the procedure your child’s idea?
  • Why is this procedure needed or wanted?
  • Does your child understand the procedure, including the risks and the recovery period?
  • Does your child have a reasonable understanding of the likely procedure outcomes?
  • What is your child’s doctor’s opinion on the procedure in this case?
  • Is your child mature enough to understand and undergo the procedure?
  • Is your child still growing, and could this cause the problem to return with growth?

Advantages and Disadvantages of Teen Cosmetic Surgery

There are both pros and cons to teen cosmetic surgery, though these advantages and disadvantages differ significantly depending on the case.

If a cosmetic surgery will fix a prominent or abnormal feature, such as protruding ears, a large nose, a large underbite or male breasts, the procedure could help build a child’s confidence and improve their ability to enjoy school, related activities, and a normal social life. In cases in which an abnormal feature will not change with age, such as asymmetrical breasts, there may be little reason to prolong your choice or wait until adulthood.

Before choosing cosmetic surgery, though, be sure to factor in missed school days (or a visible recovery process), the possibility of complications, and the possibility that your child’s features may continue to change and grow in years to come. Also consider your child’s maturity, your child’s understanding of the procedure, and the cost of the procedure.

Cosmetic Procedures for Teens at the Surgical Arts Centre

At the Surgical Arts Centre, we make certain that patients of all ages are informed, educated, and comfortable with their choice before their procedure. This is especially the case when we perform surgeries on those under the age of 18, from nose or ear surgeries to skin treatments to dental implants. To learn more about our cosmetic procedures, or to speak to a surgeon about a procedure for a teen, please call our team today: (406) 549-6600.