Plastic Surgery Isn't Child's Play for Teens

NOVEMBER 24, 2013
Robert T. Grant, MD, MSc, FACS

Adolescence is an extremely tenuous time in a child’s life. Confidence hangs by a thread when image is everything, and if a preteen or teen is wearing last year’s trend, they’re left behind.

But what if a child’s confidence is hindered by a part of his or her own body and he or she wants to change it? Then that child is not alone.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) 2012 Plastic Surgery Report, more than 235,000 13- to 19-year-old patients underwent plastic surgery procedures last year. Some of the most popular surgical procedures among teens include rhinoplasty, gynecomastia, and otoplasty, while the top non-surgical or minimally invasive procedures for teens include laser hair removal, laser skin resurfacing, and microdermabrasion. The last two are logical choices for teen patients who have suffered from acne or cystic acne.

Overall, these popular surgical and non-surgical procedures are understandably focused around the most prevalent part of an adolescent’s body: the face. A teen’s facial appearance is one of the biggest components of making a first impression. Confidence can be quickly restored in teenagers who actually feel good about themselves and the way they look. This confidence can be carried forward and conveyed to their peers, lessening the chance of bullying or other mentally harmful teenage hazing traditions.

If medical science can give this gift to adolescents in a responsible manner through minimally invasive procedures, then why not forge ahead with it? However, the flip side of the coin is just a tad alarming.

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