The world of cosmetic surgery is more inclusive than ever. With so many increases in the variety of procedure techniques available over the years, not to mention advancements in safety and success of plastic surgery, it’s no surprise that cosmetic surgery is on the rise nationwide. This is true for patients of all ages, including teenagers. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), patients nineteen years old or younger underwent nearly 40,000 cosmetic surgery procedures in the US last year alone.
The demands and surgery options available for teenage patients can differ significantly from those of more mature patients. Common procedures, like breast augmentation and liposuction, are considered inappropriate for teens, with some exceptions of course. So what cosmetic surgeries are patients in their teens undergoing and why? I dug into the ASAPS statistics to find out and see if these numbers were similar to my personal experiences with younger patients.
Ear surgery, or otoplasty, was the most commonly-performed cosmetic surgery for teenage patients. Teens underwent 11,821 ear surgeries last year, accounting for a third of all ear surgeries performed. Otoplasty is intended to help patients who seek to reduce the size of their large, protruding ears (ears that stick out) that can make the face seem unbalanced and affect their self-confidence.
Rhinoplasty was the second most popular procedure among teens, accounting for 11,059 surgeries in 2016. Unlike other parts of the body, the nose typically reaches its full adult size by age sixteen for girls and seventeen for boys. This means teens can undergo a rhinoplasty without having to worry about further growth and development negatively altering the results of their surgery, as long as they have the permission of their parents.
Breast reduction was the third most popular cosmetic surgery for teens, accounting for nearly 5,000 procedures last year. Although cosmetic breast surgery is more commonly associated with older, more physically mature women, breast reduction can have amazing benefits for teenage girls coping with the physical and emotional strain of excessively large and heavy breasts.
Undergoing a cosmetic surgery procedure is a major decision for a young person that takes a considerable amount of research and consultation, both with a board-certified plastic surgeon as well as their parents. I make it a point to thoroughly discuss every treatment option with my younger patients and their families to help them make an informed decision that will lead to the best-possible cosmetic surgery experience. For more information or to schedule a plastic surgery consultation today, please contact me, Dr. David Whiteman at Southern Plastic Surgery. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news, photos, and more.