Underage and Under the Knife: Should Parents Allow Cosmetic Surgery for Kids and Teens?

The reality, however, is that many children and teens have seen great improvement to their quality of life through the use of qualified cosmetic surgeons. Having features that trigger feelings of low self esteem can be difficult, especially for children. Anything that makes a child stand out can quickly become a target on the playground, and the mockery of a physical feature the child can do nothing about is especially hurtful. In these cases, for the sake of the child's psychological health, cosmetic surgery should certainly be a consideration.

Changing Lives Through Octoplasty

Octoplasty is a cosmetic surgery that reduces the appearance of ears that stick out by pinning them back. One fantastic example of octoplasty improving a child's quality of life is that of first grader Gage Berger. Inside Edition featured the story of young Gage being tormented by his classmates because of the appearance of his ears. Tired of watching their child suffer, his parents decided that the best course of action would be cosmetic surgery. By all accounts, his life has improved dramatically since the surgery. He feels much happier and feels as though he fits in better, an integral part of child development.

Dr. Raghu Athré of Athré Facial Plastics in Houston, TX is a board certified head and neck surgeon, and one of few doctors in the area willing to perform an octoplasty on children. On the website of his practice, he is careful to emphasize that children with even non-debilitating physical deformities are liable to be subjected to teasing and bullying that can seriously limit their self esteem. Also emphasized is the fact that children often feel delight in the immediacy of the procedure's results. The surgery itself takes only two hours, and children need only a week to recover before they can go back to school. It is explained in greater detail here.


Rhinoplasty for Teens

While many teenagers laugh and joke about the kind of cosmetic surgeries they would have if given the chance, some are left feeling as though they can't ever feel good about themselves because of their appearance. A large nose can distract from other beautiful facial features. This loss of self esteem can lead to depression and isolating behaviors in teenagers, which are dangerous and can spiral into far more serious issues. If a teen is experiencing serious depression because of an issue with their physical appearance that can be resolved with a simple surgery, it could be in the best interest of the teen's parents to investigate cosmetic surgery.

Long Island cosmetic surgeon Dr. Frederick Lukash unapologetically states that he performed rhinoplasty on his daughters Abigail and Molly when they were 17 and 16, respectively. He states that he is aware of and respectful toward the need teens have to fit in with their peers. Lukash goes on to state that his daughters were both delighted with the results of the simple procedure which, while requiring lab work and clearance from a pediatrician, can be performed in a simple clinic setting. Rhinoplasty should not be performed on any patient under 15, as the nasal bones and cartilage have not finished developing. Read more on the minimum age limits of rhinoplasty here

Self Esteem and Psychological Health

When all is said and done, whether or not a child or teen should be evaluated for plastic surgery should certainly be taken on a case by case basis. However, it is important to consider the long term psychological benefits of s simple surgery that can correct a life-affecting physical deformity. If the quality of a child or teen's life can be drastically improved by surgery, many qualified doctors would recommend that they pursue their goal of better self esteem through the empowered choice of plastic surgery. 

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