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Plastic Surgery – How Young is Too Young?

What you need to know before letting your children undergo cosmetic surgery

It seems these days that people are looking to cosmetic surgery younger and younger to fix what they see as imperfections – heck, some girls are even receiving breast implants as high school graduation presents! Before anyone elects to undergo plastic surgery, they should really figure out a few things: Is it right for me? What can I realistically expect? Here’s another one that people may not think about: How young is too young?

Naturally, if the procedure is reconstructive in nature, or meant to improve the patient’s health, they’re never too young. If a child was in an accident and its nose was severely deformed, reconstructive surgery would be necessary to repair the injury.

Certain surgeries are actually ideal to perform at a young age. Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate are often corrected in infancy. Ear pinning is usually done around the age of five, because this is the ideal time in the development of the cartilage to operate on it.

The ASPS guidelines stipulate breast augmentation should not be performed earlier than 18 years, and many states will require parent’s permission.

Beyond that, it’s the responsibility of the patient and the parents to understand what the best time is. In terms of breast augmentation, you probably could get the procedure once you’re 18, you may want to sit on it. Breasts can still grow and develop into a woman’s 20s, and having any sort of reconstructive surgery before they’re fully developed can lead to complications.

Rhinoplasty should only be performed after the nose has fully developed, around the mid-to-late teens. Any earlier, and you face potential nasal deformities.

Liposuction can usually wait, as the teenage body is likely experiencing hormonal changes, which can lead to temporary weight gain. Also, exercise and proper diet are usually a less risky alternative to major surgery for minor weight gain.

If you’re considering undergoing any cosmetic surgery, and are not sure if age (or anything else, for that matter) is a factor, your best bet is to ask your surgeon.

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