While most plastic surgery patients are at least 18 years old, some teenagers may be candidates for certain procedures. Plastic surgery is not right for every teenager, so there are some things parents should know if their teen shows interest in a procedure. Dr. Ransom can answer more questions during a consultation, but here are some basic guidelines.
How old is old enough to have plastic surgery? This answer depends on the patient. While there is no law in California or any other U.S. state that prevents teenagers from having cosmetic surgery, all patients under 18 will require parental consent before undergoing a procedure. This means that parents must carefully consider whether they will grant permission for their child to have plastic surgery.
Another important consideration is the facial development of each teen. Most cosmetic procedures must only be performed after development is complete. This typically occurs around age 15-16 for girls and 16-18 for boys. During a consultation, Dr. Ransom can examine the treatment area to determine whether your teen is ready for surgery.
When it comes to facial procedures, rhinoplasty is the most common for teenage patients. It is not uncommon for teenagers to feel dissatisfied with the appearance of their nose and seek a rhinoplasty to achieve a more proportionate and flattering look. Teenagers can also suffer from breathing problems associated with a deviated septum or require surgery after a nasal injury. With these factors in mind, it’s important to wait until the nose has reached its final, adult size before a teenager undergoes a rhinoplasty.
Otoplasties are also commonly performed on young patients. Many patients will have an otoplasty, or ear pinning surgery, as young as four- or five-years-old. This is because the ears finish developing very early in life. If your teen is bothered by prominent ears, otoplasty may be an option.
Finally, it may be necessary for teenagers to undergo reconstructive plastic surgery procedures. For example, treatment with a plastic surgeon like Dr. Ransom may be required after facial trauma. Other patients may have congenital birth defects that were not addressed in infancy or childhood like a cleft lip or palate. These patients can still have surgery into their teenage years.
If your teen shows interest in plastic surgery, the first questions you should ask concern their motivation for seeking a procedure. Plastic surgery is a personal decision at any age, and it is important that you question whether your teenager is feeling pressured by their peers or other outside sources to change their appearance. Similarly, it is never appropriate to suggest plastic surgery to a teenager. The teen should initiate the conversation themselves.
Next, you should evaluate your teen’s maturity and understanding of the procedure they are interested in, including the recovery process and potential risks. While plastic surgery is generally considered safe, there are steps that patients must take during the recovery period to ensure they avoid complications. Help your teenager learn more about the procedure they are interested in. During a consultation, Dr. Ransom can also explain everything they need to know and answer any questions.
To learn more about the plastic surgery procedure that interests you, schedule a consultation at Ransom/MD. Dr. Ransom is a double-board certified Head and Neck Surgeon and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon with extensive experience. To schedule your consultation, call our San Francisco office at (415) 877-6589 or contact us online.
Dr. Evan Ransom is an Ivy League-educated and Ivy League trained Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. He is a Double Board Certified Head and Neck Surgeon and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and fellowship-trained in facial plastic, reconstructive, and laser surgery. His practice is in the San Francisco Bay Area, serving patients from San Francisco, Oakland, Marin County, Palo Alto, Silicon Valley, Walnut Creek, the East Bay, and all over Northern California.