Many teenagers and young adults find at least one aspect of their physical appearance bothersome. For some, plastic surgery may be the solution. A recent online survey in 16 countries found that almost 9 out of 10 girls ages 15 to 25 years and over 7 out of 10 boys in the same age range old wished they could change one feature on their body. Girls were most often unhappy with their belly, thighs, buttocks or breasts, whereas boys wanted to improve on their belly and muscles, chest, mouth or cheeks. In the US, almost 15% of American youth in that age group had considered plastic surgery. In contrast, almost 1/2 of girls and 1/3 of boys in Brazil would consider an aesthetic operation.

Many factors come into consideration when deciding whether or not a patient is a good candidate for plastic surgery, and this also holds true for teenagers and young adults. In some cases, physical attributes such as an excessively large nose or extremely overdeveloped breasts cause a significant emotional and psychological burden. Corrective surgery with nasal reshaping or breast reduction, even in the absence of functional impairment, can have a wonderfully positive effect on a young person’s emotional well-being and self-esteem. Teenagers in particular are prone to influences from their social environment and peer group. Involvement of parents in pre-operative consultation is essential in determining which patients would benefit from surgical intervention. Minimizing incisions for the shortest scars is often beneficial in younger patients. Emphasizing the wide range of normal in physical appearance is crucial in this age group.

Dr. Olivia Hutchinson is a board certified female plastic surgeon in NYC, with a surgical practice focused on aesthetic plastic surgery and minimally invasive short scar techniques. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Hutchinson, contact us or call us at 212.452.1400.

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