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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Teenage Plastic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery is being performed in ever increasing numbers, including many teenagers  who are getting nosejobs as high school graduation presents. With such a premium on youth and beauty nowadays, many teenagers and young adults are trying to emulate their favorite TV or movie idols. Additionally, since cosmetic surgery is now considered fairly mainstream and not just for the wealthy or vain, many teenagers are jumping on the bandwagon.
 The most common procedure we see in this age group is rhinoplasty or nosejob. Since having a large or very unattractive nose can be the source of much derision and loss of confidence growing up, it can be quite transformational in terms of self esteem, if performed correctly with a natural appearance. In days gone by, many teenagers would be embarrassed to make this change, thinking that it would be an insult to the parents whose features they inherited or that they might lose their ethnic identity. However, in these cases, conservative approaches can be used to maintain the same general look but with a feature that integrates better with their face and self-image.
The procedure is usually performed when the teenager stops growing in height. This generally corresponds with their face being fairly mature looking. For girls this is 15-16 years old and for boys it is 17-18 years old. There are several reasons for delaying surgery. The most important is that surgical intervention before the nose has fully matured can affect growth centers within the nose. This could produce an infantile or stunted nose or asymmetries of the nose. Another reason for delaying surgery would be to allow an immature face to “catch up to” or “grow into” better balance with a nose that might appear too large. Some exceptions to this rule might be acute nasal trauma, severe nasal obstruction or significant psychological problems.

In addition to rhinoplasty, some teenagers and young adults are having chin augmentation to balance out a profile or add “strength” to the lower face, as well as cheek augmentation to widen an overly narrow face. Other procedures, such as removing fat from the lower eyelids or cheeks and raising congenitally low eyebrows, are also occasionally being performed.
Unfortunately, when too many procedures are performed, especially if done incorrectly or not conservatively, the effect can be to lose the subtle beauty of youth and produce a result that may seem unnatural.