Teen cosmetic surgery is a very controversial topic, especially in America, where so many young people push to achieve a perfect body image so early in life. Operating on teenagers can be an ethical obstacle for many plastic surgeons, depending on the nature of the procedure chosen and the circumstances of the individual case. When it comes to investigating the appropriateness of teenage cosmetic procedures, one thing is for sure: There are no cookie cutter solutions to this issue, since every teen has different factors and motivations driving them to pursue surgical interventions.
This essay will discuss the pros and cons of aesthetic surgery for teens and young adults.
Examples of Teen Cosmetic Surgery
Many teens seek treatment for unusual anatomical issues, such as overly prominent ears, an overly prominent nose, a weak chin or a variety of abnormal breast concerns.
When the nature of the condition warrants surgical resolution, there is little controversy surrounding the operation.
For example, a young girl with severe breast hypertrophy is certainly a candidate for surgery, regardless of her age, since her condition can become a real health problem and functional limitation.
However a young girl who desires fully formed breasts and seeks breast augmentation at 15 is a far more controversial example.
As in all things, the case-specific circumstances should be used to make a determination as to whether a procedure is justified or not. The age of the patient involved should only be a contributing factor to the decision making process.
Cosmetic Surgery Solutions for Teenagers
If there is any doubt about the appropriateness of a particular procedure for a minor, then the solution is simple. Allow them to wait until they reach the legal age of adulthood and make their own choice at that time.
Teens can be very persuasive, but that is not a reason to compromise your values, as a parent or a doctor, and acquiesce to providing a surgical service which is premature or inappropriate for a minor. This is especially true for teens who may grow out of their problematic bodily issue naturally.
Example, an unaesthetic nose will likely remain that way for life or even worsen with age. However, a16 year old with undersized breasts may still continue to develop over the next few years, making surgery terribly premature.
In essence, a determination of pure want versus need should be made objectively by the parents and care team, when considering cosmetic procedures for minors.
Teen Cosmetic Surgery Advice
Sometimes the best thing for a teen is tough love and sometimes it is compromise. If a teen’s particular circumstances will make them endure cruel ridicule from peers, or limit them functionally from living a normal life, then surgery may be the ideal solution, regardless of their age.
However, if the idea of surgery for simple cosmetic enhancement is all that is in a teen’s mind, then waiting is typically the best course of action.
Remember, that not only is the body of a teenager not fully developed, but their mind is also immature and not fully capable of making adult decisions, which will influence their lives forever.
When in doubt, give them time to grow and when they reach adulthood, they will be able to pursue whatever path is best for them: mind, body and spirit.