People are often surprised to learn that I take care of many children in my practice. This includes toddlers with facial lacerations, young children with congenital lesions, and teenagers with other cosmetic surgical issues. According to recent statistics released by The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), here are the most common surgical procedures performed on those 18 years of age and younger:
- Rhinoplasty: Nose reshaping is the most requested aesthetic surgical procedure by teens. It can be performed when the nose has completed 90% of its growth, which can occur as early as age 13 or 14 in girls and 15 or 16 in boys. Rhinoplasty surgery in this age group can address both aesthetic concerns, as well as functional problems such as nasal airway obstruction.
- Breast reduction: Breast reduction is frequently performed on girls with overly large breasts that may cause back and shoulder pain, as well as restrict physical activity. Breast reduction usually is delayed until the breasts have reached full development.
- Correction of breast asymmetry: Surgery can be performed when one breast significantly differs from the other either in size or shape. Except in cases of asymmetry and post-trauma reconstruction, federal regulations prohibit breast implants for those under 18. The tuberous breast deformity is a common cause of congenital breast asymmetry.
- Treatment of gynecomastia: In some teenage boys, excessive breast development (gynecomastia) can become a significant psychosocial problem. Excess tissue can be removed to achieve a more masculine body contour.
- Chin augmentation: Chin augmentation often is performed in conjunction with rhinoplasty to achieve facial balance.