Does your fourteen year old want a nose job? Does your seventeen year old want her thighs liposucked? Children present a special problem for plastic surgeons.
In general, anything besides a purely reconstructive procedure should be carefully considered by you, your child and your surgeon. It is not necessarily wrong to have a minor undergo a cosmetic procedure, but many are not emotionally equipped to deal with the physical changes, even if the result is surgically terrific, and even more are unable to with the complications should they arise. (In case you you didn’t know, all surgery does carry with it inherent complications.) I’m certainly not singling out the young in this regard. There are many older people, both men and women, who find it hard to deal with the physical changes cosmetic surgery brings. It can be extra difficult for those still finding their way in the world.
In addition, children’s bodies are always changing. Some “problems” may just disappear on their own if they are given enough time.
Finally, make sure that your child, and not you, wants the surgery. All too often I have mothers come in to the office with say that their sixteen year old “wants a breast reduction.” It’s clear that the poor girl has very large breasts, but it’s frequently the mother who wants the surgery rather than the patient. This is never a good situation and no surgeon should ever agree to operate under these conditions.
Cosmetic surgery in the young is a collaborative effort between the surgeon, the parents and the patient. It is a decision that should be made very carefully.