Plastic Surgery – How Young Is Too Young?

  Posted on February 26, 2014   Last updated on December 7, 2017 |   

Dr. Hsu is a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon and Reconstructive Microsurgeon providing stare of the art cosmetic and reconstruction enhancements.

Cosmetic surgery is steadily on the rise. More teenagers want procedures.

With the prevalence of plastic surgery these days, the question is raised, how young is too young to have a procedure? There is no simple answer to this question. Clearly, unless it is for reconstructive purposes, cosmetic surgery shouldn’t be considered for children younger than teens. Even for teenagers, the idea of surgery for cosmetic reasons alone seems undesirable. There are numerous healthy reasons to elect to have plastic surgery. You may have facial features that are flawed and make you uncomfortable and embarrassed. You may have issues with your skin, your eyelids; perhaps you would be more comfortable if you had a nose job. There is breast augmentation surgery for small or asymmetrical breasts, and fat removal surgery such as liposuction. These are valid and vital reasons for an adult to have cosmetic surgery.

Teens should wait to have surgery, unless there is something that is strikingly problematic for them, the kind of thing that can have a deep psychological impact. But if a teen wants surgery when no obvious reason is present, then maybe an underlying psychological reason needs to be addressed, rather than the physical. If a teenager feels as if they could be more beautiful, or has extra body fat, or a flat chest, it is advisable for them to wait until they are older before deciding on plastic surgery. These issues often resolve as the child grows into young adulthood.

Plastic surgery that is performed for reconstructive purposes is completely acceptable for a child. If a child has been in an accident and suffered disfigurement, or has been badly burned, then plastic surgery is crucial. There are other issues like cleft palates that require reconstructive plastic surgery. These are legitimate concerns and good reasons to seek out the services of a plastic surgeon. According to Houston plastic surgeon Dr. Patrick Hsu, chief of plastic, cosmetic and reconstruction surgery at Memorial Plastic Surgery in Houston, Texas, “Procedures like ear pinning and cosmetic dental work are more acceptable for youth.” According to the doctor, these are procedures that are appropriate to have when you are you young. “There’s no reason why a child should suffer the indignities that these imperfections and problems can bring.” As Dr. Hsu says, “each case is decided on an individual basis, and if the benefits outweigh the risks or disadvantages, then you should move forward with the procedure.”

With safer and more effective procedures and more reasonable prices, there are a lot more cosmetic surgeries being performed. And with so many celebrities having procedures, plastic surgery has become mainstream medicine. With our fascination for youth and beauty, it is no wonder that teenagers are curious and wonder what could be done for them. But unless it is for reconstructive purposes, it is better to wait until your mid twenties before making such important choices.


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