Is your teenager considering cosmetic plastic surgery?
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) offers these guidelines for evaluating teenagers who are considering cosmetic plastic surgery:
- 1. Assess physical maturity: Operating on a feature that has not yet fully developed could interfere with its growth, and continued growth could negate the benefits of surgery in later years. Make sure and ask your surgeon about the optimal age range for any procedure.
- 2. Explore emotional maturity and expectations: As with any patient, teenagers should appreciate the benefits and limitations of the proposed surgery, and have realistic expectations.
- 3. Check credentials: State laws permit any licensed physician to call themselves a “plastic” or “cosmetic” surgeon, even if not trained as a surgeon. Look for certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. If the doctor operates in an ambulatory or office-based facility, the facility should be accredited. Additionally, the surgeon should have operating privileges in an accredited hospital for the same procedure being considered.
- 4. Explore risks and expected recovery times: Teens and their parents should understand the risks of surgery, postoperative restrictions on activity and typical recovery times.