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Plastic surgery for teens

Self-confidence can be very transformational to a teenager’s life and open the door to opportunity. The right cosmetic procedure performed on the right patient at the right time can greatly impact a young person’s physical and emotional development. Dr. B. Aviva Preminger requires a consultation prior to surgery where she assesses the physical and emotional maturity of teenagers requesting surgery. She is renowned for being particularly “real” with her youngest patients — discussing not only the risks and recovery, but also what expectations can be reasonably expected. In 2015, more than 226,000 cosmetic procedures were performed on the 13-19 demographic, including 65,000 surgeries.

Teens and plastic surgery procedures

Beyond non-invasive cosmetic procedures like laser hair removal, microdermabrasion and chemical peels, teens get:

  • Otoplasty (ear surgery) – Ear surgery was the #1 procedure done in 2012. Correction of abnormal protrusion can be done on children as young as five or six to prevent cruel teasing from classmates throughout elementary school. Lobe surgeries may also be done to repair overstretching and tearing from earrings.
  • Rhinoplasty (nose surgery) – Rhinoplasty is the second most common plastic surgery among teens. Nose reshaping can be done as soon as the nose has reached 90 percent of its growth — at around age 13 or 14 for girls, and 15 or 16 for boys. Rhinoplasties can be done on the bulb, the bridge, or the internal structures of the nose to improve appearance and function.

Breast implants and reduction surgery

More than half of teens seeking breast surgery (52%) are looking to enhance the size of their bust line. Summer vacation is one of the most popular times for teen breast augmentation procedures.

When a 17-year-old senior decided to boost her bust from an A to a C cup, she told NY Daily News: “I don’t plan to tell anyone. People go through so many changes at my age, anyway, they may not notice. I just feel so much happier now, more comfortable in my own skin.”

While teen breast implants are popular, there are also many congenital and developmental deformities that can be corrected through breast surgery, including:

  • Severe asymmetry (15%)
  • Absent breast tissue due to Poland’s Syndrome (12%) or Micromastia (9%)
  • Tubular breast deformity (10%)

 

Breast reduction surgery can help teen girls who:

  • Feel self-conscious about being larger on top than her peers
  • Have trouble playing sports
  • Suffer from back pain
  • Cannot find clothing that fits well

More than 50% of boys will develop slightly enlarged breast buds at some point during their puberty years. Most cases will resolve within a year or two, but the 10% of boys suffering from persistent gynecomastia in their later teens may opt to have their condition corrected surgically.

"Teenagers are very vulnerable to social pressure and the desire to conform, so it’s important that they do it for themselves and not just to impress others. If a teenager has long felt insecure and uncomfortable, then there is a good chance they will experience genuine satisfaction with the results."

- B. Aviva Preminger, MD

Plastic surgery and teenagers: special considerations

Patient selection is crucial, no matter the age. Generally, patients old and young should be free from bleeding disorders and unmanaged health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol, heart or lung disease, autoimmune disorders, obesity, severe allergies, and body dysmorphic disorder. Psychological issues can also rule out some candidates for plastic surgery.

Studies show that self-image tends to increase in the late teens and early twenties, regardless of whether or not a person has had surgery – just due to increases in brain maturity. So teen patients really have to ask themselves if a particular physical condition is something that causes deep unhappiness on a daily basis — or if it’s something that can be put off a little longer.

To learn more about the plastic surgery procedures offered by Dr. Preminger, we invite you to schedule a private consultation by calling 212-706-1900.

Teenager plastic surgery resources

  1. ASPS – Teens and Plastic Surgery http://www.surgery.org/media/news-releases/teens-and-plastic-surgery
  2. Seminars in Plastic Surgery – Gynecomastia in Adolescent Males http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3706045/
  3. The Baltimore Sun – Parents, teens must weigh many factors in deciding on rhinoplasty http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-03-21/health/bs-hs-ask-the-expert-0322-20120320_1_plastic-surgery-plastic-surgeon-teens
  4. NY Daily News – Teen plastic surgery peaks before heading back to school http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/teen-plastic-surgery-peaks-heading-back-school-article-1.2335968
  5. Web MD – Teens and Plastic Surgery http://teens.webmd.com/teens-plastic-surgery
  6. Our Bodies Our Selves – Teens and Cosmetic Surgery http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/health-info/teens-cosmetic-surgery/
  7. CNN – Not everyone’s a good plastic surgery candidate http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/11/30/hfh.no.plastic.surgery/index.html?iref=newssearch

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