*originally posted in Long Island Press

Rhinoplasty (nose reshaping) is the most common cosmetic procedure  for teens. For teenagers who concern themselves with appearance, a big nose can be disheartening. The nose finishes most of it’s growth by 13 or 14 in girls and 15 or 16 in boys. For some teenage patients, cosmetic plastic surgery typically benefits their emotional development and self-image.

Adolescent Surgeries

  • Otoplasty (ear pinback) is an operation performed on young children, as young as 5. Ears are almost fully grown by age 4. The earlier the surgery, the less teasing and ridicule the child endures. Ear surgery on adults is also possible, and there are generally no additional risks with surgery on an adult patient.

  • Breast Reduction can help girls as young as 15 who are embarrassed by very large breasts. They may be having shoulder pains, breathing difficulty and embarrassment in social situations.

  • Breast Asymmetry. Operations to correct breast asymmetry can help girls as young as 16. Though, most doctors wait until full growth occurs (approximately 18 years old).

  • Gynecomastia (excessive breast development on men) is common in teenage boys and often disappears on its own. If severe, the excess tissue is removed as young as 16.

Of course, the surgeon must make certain that teen’s understand expectations of surgery. The parents and the teen must be open about their feelings of plastic surgery. Ideally, the parents must be in agreement and support the procedure. Above all, the teen should undergo the procedure solely because they will benefit from it, not because of anyone else’s expectations.

When it’s better to wait…

  • Breast enlargement should not be done before the age of 18 because late development may occur.

  • Liposuction is not a solution for baby fat. Most teens experience major changes in the body shape over several years.