Making the decision to have plastic surgery is something that needs to be taken seriously. You should always consult with family, friends, and doctors before you even consider having any sort of life changing procedure. This is something that is going to affect all aspects of your life moving forward, so it’s extremely important that you’ve discussed all of the options and outcomes before going under the knife.
Even as an adult you shouldn’t rush into a decision like this, but younger people need to be even more careful before they decided to have plastic surgery.
Having plastic surgery while you’re too young and your body is still developing can be detrimental to your overall health and wellness as you continue to age and mature.
However, if body image is leading to self-esteem issues, bullying, or mental health issues, then plastic surgery could help improve those thoughts. But that’s not to say we advocate for minors receiving plastic surgery.
Every person, and every case, is different when it comes to plastic surgery. The procedures are traditionally very similar, but the patients and their bodies are always different. This is why it’s important to always discuss all of the options before making a life changing decision.
Am I Too Young For Plastic Surgery?
Legally speaking, a minor under 18 years of age cannot undergo plastic surgery in the United States without the full written consent from their parents. And a lot of times, depending on what the procedure is, surgeons may not even perform the surgery, even with consent. And there are a few reasons for this.
The main reason is that the body is still developing when a person is that young. Different areas of the body will continue to grow and develop into your mid-20’s, so it is recommended that you wait and see how your body reacts to all of the changes it goes through in your late teens/early 20’s, before you decide to alter it.
Altering your body too early can have a negative affect on how things continue to develop as you get older, not to mention not all surgeries will make you appear the same for your entire life.
If a 16 year old is unhappy with her breast size, and wants to have breast implants, they may be able to just wait a couple years for their breasts to fully develop and not have to worry about having surgery. As the body continues to grow and develop, you really want to make sure that you’re not interfering with things that could happen naturally.
In addition to the physical aspects of having surgery at a young age, there is also the mental aspect of it. Even at the age of 18, you’re not as mature as you may think you are. Yes, technically you are considered an adult and can make your own decisions, and you may think that plastic surgery is the answer that you’re looking for, but there may be another underlying issue at the root of your body image issues.
By waiting until you’re a little older, more developed, and more mature, you can better understand the reasons for wanting to alter your appearance, and better understand the consequences and outcomes of your decision.
Are Any Plastic Surgeries Ok For Younger People?
There are a few circumstances in which surgeons may agree to plastic surgery for people under the age of 18, but these are all dependent on the surgeon.
Rhinoplasty, or a nose job, can sometimes be performed at a younger age because the facial bones stop growing at a certain point, but it’s still not as early as you might think.
In boys the bones can stop growing between 16-17, while in girls it’s usually between 14-15. If a rhinoplasty were to be performed before these facial bones stop growing it could lead to a change in appearance as well as other complications.
A surgeon will still probably tell you to wait until you’re over 18 before getting a nose job, but in some cases, like reconstructive surgery or rhinoplasty to help with breathing (deviated septum, etc.), it may be necessary to perform the procedure at a younger age.
The same goes with otoplasty, or corrective ear surgery. Since the human ear tends to get to its full size rather quickly, an otoplasty can usually be safely performed on most children after the age of 5. Of course, this is all dependent on your surgeon.
Breast reduction in young patients 15 -18 is also common and life changing for patients. Patients must be at a stable breast size for 12 months typically before proceeding.
So while there are some plastic surgery procedures that may be helpful and safely performed at younger ages, it will still depend on your surgeon and, of course, parental consent.
As we mentioned above, breast augmentation surgery is not recommended for women under the age of 18. However, breast reduction surgery may be an option at younger ages if it’s causing physical problems.
If you’re under 18 and you’re thinking about having plastic surgery the first thing you should do is discuss it with your parents. Figuring out exactly why you want to alter your body is the first step. You may find that there’s some other underlying cause of your dissatisfaction that can be corrected without resorting to surgery, but it’s always important to talk things through with a parent or doctor first.
The next step would then to be to find a surgeon and setup a consultation so you can discuss exactly what goes into the surgery, what concerns the surgeon might have, and answer any questions you have.
Plastic surgeons get questions like this every single day, so it’s very important to take their advice into consideration before making any drastic moves.
If you’re thinking about plastic surgery and would like to setup a consultation with Dr. Adams, please contact us via our website, or call our Dallas, Texas offices. We’d be happy to discuss all of the various plastic surgery options as well as discuss other possible treatments that may be able to help.