How do you know if your teen is ready for plastic surgery?

We have previously discussed on this blog how more American teens are getting cosmetic surgery. Between 2000 and 2007, the number of girls 18-years-old or younger who had breast augmentation surgery grew by 57 percent. We also mentioned how "The Big Bang Theory" star Kaley Cuoco recently admitted to getting implants when she was 18-years-old, calling it "the best thing I've ever done." Some other popular procedures among American teen patients include: breast asymmetry correction, breast reduction, male breast reduction, rhinoplasty (nose surgery), otoplasty (ear surgery) and acne scar treatment.

Mother Lynda Ilse tells ABC News she is glad she allowed her daughter Nadia to have surgery to pin back her ears. 

"Every family has to make their own decision," Ilse told the source. "I let Nadia make the decision. She's been begging me for so long to get her ears pinned back and so that's what she wanted to do and so I just supported her … It's no different than somebody having teeth that require braces. If you had teeth that stuck out, wouldn't you go to a dentist and have braces put on?"

Clearly, there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve your appearance, and for some teens getting cosmetic surgery is the right decision. But how do you know if your teen is ready for such a procedure? 

Here are some questions to ask before you agree to let your child undergo plastic surgery:

  • Does your teen have realistic expectations?

Check in with your child and ask some non-judgmental questions about what they are hoping to get out of the operation. 

"The young person must appreciate both the benefits and limitations of plastic surgery, avoiding unrealistic expectations about life changes that will occur as a result of the procedure," says the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). 

  • Is your teen emotionally mature?

To safely have cosmetic surgery, your child must be mature enough to follow their physician's pre- and post-operative directions to ensure their results are optimal. They should also be prepared to experience some pain and discomfort immediately following certain procedures. The ASPS advises that teens who abuse alcohol or drugs or struggle with mood swings, depression and/or other mental illness should not have plastic surgery. 

  • Is your teen physically mature? 

You should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine whether your teen is sufficiently mature physically to have the operation they desire. 

  • Was plastic surgery your teen's idea? 

Plastic surgery should not be suggested by anyone other than your child. Strong candidates will consistently and repeatedly articulate a desire to improve their appearance by exploring surgical cosmetic procedures. It's not enough that you or someone else in your teen's life think that surgery is a good idea. This should be something that they really want. 

If you and your child decide that plastic surgery may be right for them, then it is time to meet with experts to learn more about the procedure they would like to have done. Find a board certified plastic surgeon who operates in an accredited facility to discuss your options. As one of the best plastic surgeons in Florida, Christopher Craft, M.D., can help your child consider which surgical or non-surgical procedures would help them safely and effectively achieve their aesthetic goals, while educating them about all of the relevant benefits and risks.

While teen cosmetic surgery is certainly not something to be taken lightly, if it is right for your child it could truly transform their life for the better. Call Christopher Craft Cosmetic Surgery to schedule an initial consultation today. 

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