By now, children and teens have returned to the hallowed halls of their learning institutions with new books, backpacks, and clothes to start their next year of education. Some have even been went back with something else new – a nose, chin, set of ears, or even a set of breasts. That’s because the back-to-school season also brings an increase in the number of plastic surgeries performed on patients who are under nineteen years old.
According to an article recently published on New York Daily News, over 64,000 teenagers have a plastic surgery procedure every year. That number has been steadily rising over the past several years, and it’s no surprise why. Plastic surgery has become so commonplace among adults that it has started to gain more popularity among teenagers. Teenage celebrities, such as Kylie Jenner and Ariel Winter from “Modern Family”, who get plastic surgery add to the normalization of having a procedure done, and social media plays an enormous role in how teenagers may view themselves.
There are a wide variety of surgical and nonsurgical procedures that can be performed on adult patients, but not all of those can be done on teenagers. Part of the reason is that teenagers are still young and growing into their bodies, so they may not even need to have surgery until they get a little older. Some doctors turn away teenage patients due to their unrealistic expectations for surgery. The goal of plastic surgery is to improve a teenager’s appearance so they look like the best versions of themselves, not so they can look like teenage superstars.
Rhinoplasty is easily the most common surgical procedure performed on teenagers, with over 30,000 nose jobs given in 2014. Other surgical procedures that are popular with young patients include ear surgery (otoplasty), breast surgery (augmentation and reduction), and gynecomastia treatment (breast reduction for males). Girls tend to be patients more often than boys, but both make an appearance in the doctor’s office during the summer.
So why is summer the most popular time for teenagers to have surgery? The obvious answer is that they are not in school during this time. They don’t have to try to balance going through surgery with their school and extra-curricular obligations, and they don’t have to be around their fellow classmates who will surely notice when the patient goes to school with bruising on their nose from the procedure. Plastic surgery requires time for the patient to relax and heal without stress or too much activity. Summer is the optimal time for most teenagers to do this, since they will have less on their plate.
The process to have plastic surgery is pretty much the same between teenagers and adults. It all starts with the consultation process. Meeting and speaking with the doctor is always important, but especially for young patients. The doctor will discuss with them why they want to have surgery, which will help them gauge the ability of the patient to understand the procedure and what will happen to them. The consultation also includes an assessment of the area where the patient wants surgery. If surgery will be beneficial to the patient, the doctor is more likely to go forward with the procedure. If the patient doesn’t need surgery, however, most doctors will opt to avoid it. This helps preserve the patient’s health and safety.
Even though the school year has already begun, your child or teenager can still have plastic surgery. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Bustillo, call his office at (305) 663-3380.