Is Plastic Surgery the Right Option for Your Teenager?

Being a teenager is tough. If your teen is unhappy with their physical appearance it can be an extra stressful time for them. They may not only suffer from confidence and low self-esteem issues, but in some cases their feelings about their appearance may even make them the target of classmates and bullies in their school.

While some teenagers may magnify small physical imperfections making them into a much bigger deal than than they really are, in other cases the teenager may have legitimate concerns about their physical features, especially if they are constantly being made fun of or ridiculed.

As an example, a teenage boy may constantly be harassed because he has overly large male breasts (gynecomastia) or a girl may get the nickname of “Dumbo” because her ears stick out too much.

Since a teenager's body is still developing and changing as they become an adult, most plastic surgeons prefer to wait until a teenager is older before they will perform certain cosmetic procedures, such as breast enhancements or liposuction that a teenager may want for purely cosmetic reasons.

If there is a real need for a certain type of surgery and the teenager is wanting the procedure for the right reason, however, the surgeon will typically then evaluate each teenager on a case by case basis.

Before the surgeon will consent to perform the surgery, he or she will sit down and talk to both you and your teenager so that they can fully understand what your child's particular situation is.

They will not only evaluate whether your teenager is a good candidate for the surgery, but they will look at their emotional state as well. If your teenager's expectations are unrealistic or they seem to have emotional issues, the surgeon will decline to perform the surgery.

They will also not perform a surgery if they feel that a teenager is being pushed into the surgery because of their parent's or other family member's wishes. In these cases, the surgeon will refer the family for counseling instead.

As the parent, there are some questions for you to ask the surgeon. Inquire as to what type of training he or she has had, how many of the procedures they have done, and what the results usually are in cases similar to those of your teenager.

In most instances, the surgeon should be able to show you before and after pictures of clients who have undergone the same procedure. You should also have the surgeon explain exactly how the surgery is performed and what type of recovery time your teenager should expect.

While you do want what is best for your teenager and you may even agree that plastic surgery is the right way to achieve this, remember that there are still some things you need to ask and discuss with your child before you agree.

They need to have a clear understanding that the plastic surgery is not going to solve all of their problems, nor will it make everyone like them. They should also know that there is some risk with any kind of surgery and it is even possible that they still won't like their appearance even after the procedure is done.

(Contributed by Morgan Lindman)

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