Is your teenage daughter happy with her ears protruding outward? Maybe your son can not stand his self-proclaimed “gigantic” nose? Today, image is everything for teenagers. While every teenager can be theatrical and over dramatic, sometimes plastic surgery can be the right decision. Try using the 4 M's – maturity, motivation, mentality, and mindfulness. The 4 “M's” will help you and your teenager make the proper decision if surgery is right for him or her.

Is Surgery Safe for Teenagers?

When it comes to treatment for teens and teen augmentation surgery, more thought and understanding must go into the decision. This is not because surgery is unsafe for teenagers; this more because it is important for our teenager to understand both the short-term and long-term aspects of the procedure he or she is seeking. His or her expectation must be realistic.

The primary concern of any surgical procedure is patient safety. The most important thing is to do your homework. Know about the procedure your child is interested in having done. Do your homework. Most important – go to a Surgeon who is experienced in the requested procedure (s). Ask him questions, ask about his experience, his qualifications, if in his opinion, this would be the right procedure for your child and why. No surgeon should shy away from any questions you pose. Maybe you would like to make a list of questions before your consultation appointment. Make sure you are comfortable with the answers.

Are There Special Considerations for Teenage Cosmetic Surgery Versus Adult Plastic Surgery?

As with adult patients, teenage patients should be treated with respect when considering cosmetic surgery. The special consideration with surgery in teenagers is that they are still growing. A premature surgery may cause more problems down the road. Your child has brought up the issue to have a cosmetic surgery procedure. Usually it is just that teenagers want to fit in with their relative peer group. If there is indeed a reasonable motivation as to why your daughter or son desires cosmetic surgery, a cosmetic surgeon can help you decide if the surgery is necessary and if so, at what age it should take place.

How to Decide If Your Teenager Should Proceed with Surgery?

If you are the parent of a teenager who wants cosmetic surgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) believes that the most rewarding results arise when the following “M's” are thought-out:

Maturity : Your daughter or son should be physically mature enough to have the operation. Body parts mature at different rates. The nasal bones are not mature until age 15-16, so a rhinoplasty before that time would be inappropriate. Breasts mature until at least age 18. Unless there is a congenital breast asymmetry, breast augmentation should not be done until age 18. Breast reduction can be performed from the age of 16 years. Otoplasty, “bat ear,” or protruding correction, can be performed in early teenage years. Motivation: What is your child's motivation? The desire to undergo cosmetic surgery should come from your son or daughter, not you, not her peers, nor a boyfriend nor girlfriend. She must be fully committed to the change.

Mentality : What is your teenager's mentality regarding cosmetic surgery? Your son or daughter should have realistic expectations about the results and benefits of a cosmetic surgery procedure. If he or she is anticipating a huge life change, like becoming very popular overnight, getting a new boyfriend or girlfriend, your child may be very disappointed. This can easily happen even if the surgical result is excellent.

Mindfulness : Your child should fully know that cosmetic surgery is “surgery”. The incisions can be painful and recovery and healing does take time. These are still children, even some adults have a tough time with recovery from plastic surgery procedures. Everyone is different in their threshold for pain and patience.