The vast majority of plastic surgical procedures that Dr. Paul Pin performs are for adults. However, there are certain instances in which he will work with teens. Most teens have very different reasons for wanting to undergo plastic surgery than adults, so extra caution must be taken, starting with the initial consultation.
How are the goals from plastic surgery different for teens than for adults? What are circumstances under which teens might consider plastic surgery? What are some of the common plastic surgical procedures that Dr. Pin performs on teens?
Teens’ Motivations and Goals from Plastic Surgery
Most adults who choose to undergo plastic surgery are looking to improve their appearance by enhancing or altering a specific feature on the face or body. This is also true for teens. They may wish to undergo rhinoplasty to reduce the appearance of a nasal hump or liposuction to slim down the calves.
Circumstances for Teens to Undergo Plastic Surgery
The most common reason that teens give for wanting to undergo plastic surgery is that they are often made uncomfortable or embarrassed about physical characteristics that they think draw unnecessary attention to them. In other cases, the surgery may be needed to correct for a deformity, such as rhinoplasty to open up the nasal passages to improve breathing and reduce snoring.
For some teens, particularly if they participate in organized athletic activities, plastic surgery may be needed to correct for a physical injury that they may have sustained. Ear surgery to correct for cauliflower ear as a result of a sports injury, such as wrestling, is a good example of this.
Dr. Pin also feels that the teen must also be aware of the circumstances surrounding the plastic surgery, including:
- The teen must make the initial request for the surgery
- The teen understands the realistic goals from the surgery
- The teen has sufficient maturity to understand the pros and cons of the surgery
- The teen must be in good health and be honest about their medical history
Common Plastic Surgeries for Teens
- Rhinoplasty: Rhinoplasty is probably the surgery most often requested by our teen patients. As mentioned previously, the procedure can be performed to open up the nasal passages to improve breathing, and reduce snoring and sleep apnea. It can also reduce the appearance of humps along the length of the nose, or narrow a wide bridge or nasal tip.
- Breast reduction: Some teenage girls develop faster than others and have overly large breasts starting as young as 12 or 13. This is often the result of a combination of genetics and hormones. However, the end result can often be physical discomfort from back and neck pain, and emotional difficulty from unwanted attention. In cases such as this, Dr. Pin would recommend breast reduction surgery.
- Acne scarring: Acne is one of those unfortunate things that often are just part of being a teenager. For some teens, however, it can be more than just occasional breakouts and actually leave the skin pitted and scarred. Dr. Pin recommends microdermabrasion, chemical peeling, or laser resurfacing to help smooth over and even out the surface of the skin to reduce the appearance of acne scarring.
Adolescence is invariably a difficult time. Teens’ bodies and emotions are going through very dramatic changes, and physical appearance suddenly becomes extremely important. If a particular feature is overly noticeable, it can be difficult for a teen. Under such circumstances, plastic surgery could be a viable solution.